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How an iWatch told Matt Parkinson he was in the England squad

by Harry Josephs
@Harry_Wisden 3 minute read

Players often miss phone calls from selectors telling them they’ve made a squad or hear about the call-up in peculiar ways, but Matt Parkinson found out about his first England selection in truly bizarre fashion.

Last year, for example, Dom Bess was out sofa shopping in Ikea with his girlfriend when Ed Smith phoned him up to tell him the good news.

Matt Parkinson’s story is another interesting tale. While it is convention for players receiving call-ups to be told over the phone, Parkinson was out on the field as Lancashire took on Leicestershire in their final game of the County Championship season. Unable to receive his phone call, Parkinson found out in unusual fashion.

Speaking to the Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast, Parkinson said: “Saqib [Mahmood] isn’t playing this week, he’s resting and he got a phone call at about 1:30pm from Ed Smith.

“I was actually bowling at the time and I was down at fine leg, went in to bowl my over and at the end of my over Steven Croft, who was fielding at silly point got a notification on his iWatch saying that I was in the squad. A very odd way to find out. Then Saqib was shouting out over the boundary that we had both made the squad. So yeah, not your usual way of finding out but obviously pleased to get the call.”

Parkinson and Mahmood, both 22, earned selection in the England Test and T20I squads for the first time for the upcoming tour to New Zealand. The Lancashire pair are two of seven players aged 24 or under in England’s 15-man Test squad.

Matt Parkinson was speaking on the Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast. To listen to the full episode and subscribe to the show, go to the Podcast App or Spotify.

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