Overton twins hoping to make impression with England

Jamie Overton.
Jamie Overton.
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Craig and Jamie Overton may be about to become the first set of twins to play together for England after their call-ups to the Royal London Series squad.

The 21-year-olds will prompt double-takes for a new set of team-mates and supporters at the final two one-day internationals against New Zealand in Nottingham and Durham.

Only two days ago, the identical Overtons had no such plans, travelling on Somerset’s team bus away to Glamorgan when Craig was the first to take a call from national selector James Whitaker asking him instead to report for duty with England in Southampton as cover for the injured Chris Jordan.

Less than 48 hours later, it was Jamie – the younger twin by three minutes – who answered his phone to Whitaker to be told he too was needed as a replacement, for Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett this time.

He was immediately on the line again to big brother to let him know they would be back in the same squad again after all as England seek to battle back from 2-1 down against the Kiwis.

The quicker bowler and harder-hitting batsman of the pair, Jamie’s assessment of the far-fetched turn of events tended towards understatement.

“It’s been an interesting week for all of us,” he said, having had to break off during two second XI matches away to Middlesex and set off pronto up the M1.

“I gave Craig a ring and said I’d see him in Nottingham.

“Then I spoke to our parents and obviously they are very happy as well.”

The Overtons have been edging closer to England’s plans for the past three seasons, Jamie part of the squad for an ODI series at home to Australia in 2013 and Craig forced to leave the Lions tour of South Africa last winter with an ankle injury.

They hit the headlines this summer too in a spectacular last-wicket stand against county champions Yorkshire at Taunton last month.

It is more than half-a-century since twins were even close to representing England when the great Alec Bedser’s brother Eric also played more than 450 times for Surrey, but never his country.

Since then, of course, Mark and Steve Waugh became two of Australia’s best batsmen – and, coincidentally, England’s current opponents New Zealand fielded Hamish and James Marshall in their middle order.

The Overtons stand a chance of creating their own history, perhaps this week.