Young Sussex cricketer Nick Oxley had an extraordinary week after being called up as a 12th man for England’s second Test match against India at Lord's – an experience he described as surreal.
Oxley, 19, is a left-arm chinaman bowler and has played for Sussex’s 2nd XI this year. He was called up by England to help the squad prepare for India’s Kuldeep Yadav, who is a similar bowler.
The Sussex and Horsham cricketer, who is from Worthing, described his feelings of being called up, and sharing the changing room with the England stars.
He said: “It was pretty amazing. Obviously the players that were there I’ve watched on TV and looked up to ever since I was a kid, so it was pretty surreal.
“I was definitely overwhelmed on the first day and when I arrived I was very nervous. The fact the first day was rained off gave me a chance to speak to the players and ease my way into it which probably helped, everyone was pretty awesome to me.
“I knew Sam Curran and Ollie Pope from playing with age groups a year older. It made it easier and Ollie made his debut, so it was nice to share that with him.”
Oxley added: “I’m going to try and get up to Trent Bridge where the next Test is to do some net bowling and then we’ll see what happens. I’d love to do it again.”
Oxley was called up alongside fellow Sussex man Fynn Hudson-Prentice, who was also on 12th man duty.
Recalling when their paths have crossed, Oxley said: “Although he’s about three years older, I’ve always played and trained with him at Sussex. I played a few MCC Young Cricketer games with him as well so it made it a lot easier going into that situation with him. I felt at ease having a few familiar faces around.”
Having had the highlight of his short cricket career so far, Oxley outlined plans for the rest of the season - and his plans for the future.
He said: “My aims are to impress with my bowling and hopefully be in with a chance of going on a pre-season tour with Sussex, and maybe a chance of getting a contract with them. I’d like to go to Australia as well which would be great learning experience for me. Obviously my ultimate goal is to play for England. I need to work very hard but I’m willing to do that, this week was inspiring.
“I was saying to my dad how hanging around with all the players makes you realise how deep down that’s what you really want. It’s so inspiring it makes you want to work really hard to be where they are so hopefully I can get there.”
England’s third Test begins on Saturday at Trent Bridge.