ENGLAND have been warned Olly Stone’s workload must be managed sensibly after naming the paceman in their 16-man squad for the one-day international series in Sri Lanka next month.
Stone’s ability to exceed 90mph, coupled with a stellar season for Warwickshire, has led to him being summoned for the beginning of England’s winter programme as they build towards next year’s World Cup.
Stone has been drafted into England’s squad as a replacement for Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett, who will miss the first three of the five ODIs because of his wedding.
Stone’s maiden international call-up comes a little more than two years after a serious knee problem suffered while celebrating a wicket led to him learning how to walk again.
After swapping Northamptonshire for the Bears, his 2017 campaign was punctuated by injury but he has hit form this year, amassing more than 50 wickets in total.
Warwickshire sporting director Ashley Giles believes Stone deserves his England call-up, but urged the 24-year-old to be handled with “kid gloves” to get the best out of him.
“He’s ready,” said Giles. “We’ve really tried to manage his route back into cricket and it’s been quite tough at times with him in and out of the side after he’s picked up little niggles.
“He thought he might not play cricket at all a year ago and now he has a chance of playing in a World Cup.
“We can only keep him under wraps for so long but after the way we’ve managed it together with England, who have listened to us, he’s ready to go.
“You have to manage him with kid gloves. I think if you’re expecting Olly to play every day and be at it, he’ll break down.
“He’s a Ferrari. With many bowlers – your BMWs or your Audis – you just get in and go but if you have someone who bowls at pace and has had his history of injury, you have to treat them very carefully.”
Plunkett’s Yorkshire team-mate and left-arm seamer David Willey, a regular in England’s white-ball line-ups, misses out due to a back complaint but Sam Curran acts as a like-for-like replacement, with older brother Tom also making the trip.
Liam Dawson will supplement frontline spinners Moeen Ali and Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid.
England ODI squad for Sri Lanka: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Moeen Ali (Worcs), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Alex Hales (Notts), Liam Plunkett (Yorks), Adil Rashid (Yorks), Joe Root (Yorks), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warks), Mark Wood (Durham).
He’s a Ferrari. With many bowlers – your BMWs or your Audis – you just get in and go but if you have someone who bowls at pace and has had his history of injury, you have to treat them very carefully.Ashley Giles on fast bowler Olly Stone