England and Ireland are set to lock horns against each other in the one-off Test at Lord's starting from June 1 (Thursday). The hosts are set to hand a debut to young 25-year-old Josh Tongue who has been fast-tracked to the set up following his excellent show during the winter for England Lions. His debut is also helped by the injuries to several senior bowlers ahead of the game.
Meanwhile, a pub landlord Tim Piper, also a family friend of Josh Tongue, is set to win cash prize of 50,000 pounds for predicting Tongue's future when the cricketer was only 11 years old. The man had predicted that Tongue will play for England and had gambled 500/1 investing 100 pound. With the cricketer, now 25, already named in the playing XI, Piper, who runs the Cricketers Arms in Redditch, will win INR 51.25 lakh when he steps out for England.
"I used to go and see him in the garden playing with his dad when he was just a year old and then when he was two or three he was playing in the nets and he knew how to bowl properly with leg-spin, top-spin and everything. Of course I'm not going to play down £50,000, but it's just such a wonderful story in itself. ," Piper said according to The Cricketer.
"When he was younger he started to get better and better, batting with pace and getting better with bowling. He was touch and go thinking of calling it a day and 12 months later here he is playing for England," Piper added. Interestingly, Piper had first tried to make his bet when Josh Tongue was only six years old but no one took him seriously.
Meanwhile, England have won the toss and opted to bowl in the Lord's Test against Ireland. This means Josh Tongue will get an opportunity to showcase his skills and all eyes will be on his performance in the game.
Ireland (Playing XI): James McCollum, Peter Moor, Andrew Balbirnie(c), Harry Tector, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker(w), Curtis Campher, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume