5 things you may not know about Joe Denly
The Kent batsman scored 828 runs in Division 2 last season with an average of 34.5.
Joe Denly has been called up to England’s one-day squad for the first time in nine years and will arrive in Sri Lanka on Wednesday morning.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things you may not know about the 32-year-old.
1 Friends in high places
Denly made a golden duck on his first-class debut against Oxford University. The man who replaced him at the crease that day? Ed Smith, England’s current national selector. Smith grew to be a big fan of Denly during their time together at Kent and has now handed his former team-mate the chance to reignite his international career.
2 His only international wicket is a good one
Although on a strong run of form with bat in hand, Denly’s return to England colours owes as much to his vastly improved leg-spin bowling. In his previous 14 appearances for the national side he bowled just one over, during a Twenty20 in South Africa. He did manage to claim a notable scalp with his very first delivery, though, having Proteas captain Graeme Smith caught by Sajid Mahmood.
3 He was earmarked for a key role at the World T20 in 2010
England landed their first – and so far only – major limited-overs trophy when they triumphed in the third edition of the World T20 in the Caribbean. A major part of their success was the dynamic opening partnership of Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb. Neither man was even in the squad a couple of months earlier, with Denly and Jonathan Trott favoured until an internal match between England and England Lions tipped the balance against them.
4 A Canterbury tale
Remarkably, given Kent have been based at Canterbury since 1870, Denly is listed by the county as their first capped player to be born in the city. Denly achieved his first team cap in 2008.
5 He has an unusual nickname
The all-rounder has been known for several years as “no pants” and before that “commando”. The reasons for those monikers may be better left unsaid.