Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes made 87 runs on his first day as an England player having made his Test debut against Sri Lanka.
Foakes was called up in place of the injured Jonny Bairstow, and is widely regarded as one of the best in the country behind the stumps.
Here, Press Association Sports picks out five things that may not be known about England’s new star.
Born and raised in Essex, England’s newest wicketkeeper ranked James Foster as one of his childhood role models, and he used to go to Chelmsford to watch T20s. Foakes recalls watching Foster’s keeping at a young age and his desire to try and emulate and replicate the actions of the Essex keeper.
Foakes was thrown in the deep end with his professional debut, which came at the age of 17 for Essex against touring side Sri Lanka in 2011. He played as a wicketkeeper and took two catches, one off English fast bowler Tymal Mills, and the other from the bowling of Reece Topley. When it came to batting, Foakes had a more unorthodox start, he got off the mark with an all-run four before being dismissed for five runs by Thisara Perera.
Frustrated by a lack of first-team chances, especially as keeper, Foakes made the decision to leave his boyhood county, where he had come through the academy, at the age of 21. His appearances were limited by the continued form of his childhood hero, Foster, and he moved to nearby Surrey. Since his move, he has been hailed as the best in the world behind the stumps by Surrey director of cricket, and former England wicketkeeper, Alec Stewart.
Foakes credits his father with much of his early cricket and sporting development and said it was his dad who took him to the nets before he was old enough to play in the teams. Interestingly, his father, Peter Foakes, had a sporting career of his own as a Premier League referee for a number of years until the 1994-95 season. Ben has a tattoo on his wrist to mark the day his father passed away when he was just 13 years old.
Unlike many modern players, Foakes has prioritises red-ball cricket and has said he feels his game is more suited to the longer format. Speaking in an ECB video, Foakes said he believes he would be better at trying to bat for a day rather than trying to hit it out of the park, and described his approach as “old school.”