David Payne ‘can’t stop smiling’ after left-field England call-up


Left-arm seamer pulled out of County Championship fixture vs Middlesex on third morning

Amid the chaos of England’s first-choice ODI squad entering self-isolation on Tuesday morning, a handful of county stalwarts received news that they thought would never come. Danny Briggs was recalled after seven-and-a-half years since his last international appearance; John Simpson was given a first call-up as the back-up wicketkeeper at the age of 32; and David Payne struggled to hide his emotion after being named in an England squad for the first time.

“This has been the dream for a long time,” Payne told Gloucestershire’s in-house channels at Cheltenham before leaving their County Championship game against Middlesex to link up with the new squad in Cardiff. “I’m not sure words can describe how I’m feeling – I’m ecstatic, and I can’t stop smiling. It’s everything everyone plays for, so to finally get that call is everything I ever wanted.”

While a handful of players and support staff were reached last night, Payne was among those who only found out on Wednesday morning. “I had a missed call and a message on WhatsApp,” he explained. “I was down at breakfast and left my phone in the hotel room, so I came back and saw that.

“The message said, ‘it’s Chris Silverwood, can you give me a call?’ Instantly, my heart was kind of racing and excited, thinking, ‘what’s this going to be?’ I tried to stay cool [and] thought I’d do my teeth and get ready to go to the ground and then give him a call. In the car he was ringing me again so I took the call again and he said can I join him down in Cardiff?

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