Olly Stone is aiming to make another “dream come true” when he travels to the West Indies with the England Test squad in the New Year.
The Warwickshire fast-bowler ticked off one dream when he made his ODI debut for England in Sri Lanka in October.
"Just being among the likes of Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson and Chris Woakes and learning from them in the nets and tapping into their knowledge was brilliant."
He did well, helping his side to a superb series win, before being left out of the team for the Tests, as expected on the spin-friendly pitches out there.
Conditions in the Caribbean, where the England Test squad will arrive on January 11, will be much better-suited to Stone’s express pace. A Test debut appears to beckon – and the 25-year-old can’t wait to link back up with England team-mates whose support and encouragement, he insists, has made his step-up to international cricket so much easier.
“The boys were brilliant and that had a massive effect on my performance,” Stone said. “I didn’t feel nervous at all. I felt part of the team straight away so I could just go and try to do what I have done for Warwickshire over the last year and not change anything.
“The whole tour was an amazing experience. It was a nice surprise to play as much cricket as I did and to play in the ODIs was literally a dream come true. I was pretty happy with how I bowled. When the time came I tried to think to myself it was just another game, because you always just try to do your job the best you can, but I did take the moment in.
“I would love to have played in the Tests too but it was always likely they were going to play three spinners. Even then I learned a lot off the field. Just being among the likes of Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson and Chris Woakes and learning from them in the nets and tapping into their knowledge was brilliant.
“It was amazing just to be a part of it and now I’m thrilled to be selected for the West Indies Test tour and just want to show my skills out there.”
In the meantime, having popped into Edgbaston to catch up with his Bears team-mates, Stone is now monitoring his beloved Norwich City’s rise to the top of the Championship from a distance – Western Australia.
“I’m in Perth for a break,” he said. “I’ll keep ticking over and have brought my bowling boots but it will be mainly rest. Then I’ll be back at Edgbaston for a week before heading for the Caribbean.
“I can’t wait. To play for England was something that I have always worked towards, so then to go out to Sri Lanka and for it to be as enjoyable as it was unbelievable.”