Porter inspired for England honours
PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:53 26 July 2018
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Jamie Porter has admitted winning the NatWest PCA Young Player of the Year Award in 2017 inspired him after being called up to the England squad for the first Test Match against India at Edgbaston.
The Essex pace bowler has been a standout bowler in the County Championship over recent seasons and is now in contention to make his senior England debut in Birmingham next Wednesday.
The 25-year-old received the phone call from national selector Ed Smith on Thursday morning after a session with the fast-bowling coach Kevin Shine to reward him for his standout performances in recent years.
As well as lifting the Young Player of the Year, Porter won the Specsavers County Championship Player of the Year as he helped Essex lift the County Championship just 12 months after gaining promotion to the top division.
The right-armer is also the PCA representative for his county and explains his thoughts after being called-up to join the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
“It was a little bit unexpected,” said Porter.
“To be honest it hasn’t sunk in yet, I’m trying to get a few minutes to myself to sit and process it properly. There is a great deal of excitement ahead of next week.
“I obviously have a lot of emotions going through my head, mainly thinking of my family and how much this means to them.
“The only reward I’m interested in is playing Test cricket. It’s what I’ve worked towards my whole life and has always been my dream and now I am a step closer, that’s why I feel a big amount of relief.”
Porter took 75 wickets in the Championship last year which led him to representation with the England Lions and placed him amongst some huge cricketing names who had previously won the prestigious PCA accolade by lifting the John Arlott Cup.
Porter is the fifth player in the Test squad to have previously won the NatWest PCA Young Player of the Year, joining Alastair Cook, Adil Rashid, Joe Root and Ben Stokes. “When I won the NatWest PCA Young Player of the Year award last year it massively drove me on, you see the company it puts you in and you think ‘why can’t I go on to be like them’ so it did give me a huge amount of motivation to try and kick on for international honours.
“The majority of players who have won the award have gone on to play for England so it would be nice to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone on to be very successful.”
In 2014 Porter was preparing for a summer playing club cricket with his day job as a recruitment consultant before being handed his chance with Essex and he believes his unconventional route into the game has made his call-up even more special.
“It makes it feel even more worth it, I’ve always been so grateful for the opportunity Essex gave me and how it’s all worked out here and now to be in a situation where this time next week I could be walking out representing my country it feels pretty special.
“I have been fortunate to spend a bit of time with the lads to get to know them over the last 12 months so it doesn’t feel like a daunting environment which makes me feel more relaxed.
“Luckily I have some good friends in the squad like Keaton Jennings and Sam Curran which will be a calming factor.”