Liam Plunkett is ready to make the most of an unexpected chance with England in South Africa after being called into the squad for the one-day and Twenty20 series in place of the injured Steven Finn.
Plunkett only arrived in Dubai last week and has been preparing for England Lions’ series against Pakistan A which starts on Wednesday.
Now he will be heading back to the airport over the weekend after the first two games of the series, to join the senior England team’s preparations for their white-ball clashes with the Proteas.
“Cricket’s like that isn’t it, you don’t know where you’re going to be next?” reflected the Yorkshire all-rounder, who took three wickets in each of his two T20 appearances for England against Pakistan in Dubai before Christmas – and another three for the Lions in their warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
“I was disappointed not to be in the squad in the first place, but I came back here with the Lions determined to play to my best and show I’m still ready if they need me.
“Then obviously I’d seen Finny was injured so I did wonder, and I got the call from James Whitaker earlier.
“We’ve only played a warm-up game out here so far against the UAE but I felt in pretty good rhythm straight away and clicked it up to a decent pace.
“From the end of last season I’ve pretty much been bowling all the time, and I just had a few weeks off in December.
“I’ve enjoyed my brief time with the Lions and hopefully I can play a part in getting this series off to a good start before going to South Africa.”