Olly Stone Warwickshire England Sri Lanka 2018-19
Olly Stone (right) celebrates a wicket with Jonathan Trott Getty Images (file photo)

Olly Stone has had multiple reasons to be excited about over the past week. Stone has been picked for England‘s squads (both Tests and limited-overs) for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. With 37 wickets at a measly 12.27, Stone has also played a major in helping Warwickshire earn a Division One promotion with a week to spare. In fact, Warwickshire, tied with Kent at top spot in Division Two, stand with fair chance of getting promoted as group toppers.

“What a crazy week. Two England calls and to get the boys back where they deserved is great too,” Stone told BBC WM. “At the start of the year, promotion was key. We’ve achieved it a week early, which now takes us into a shootout and we’re really excited.”

Stone was also visible surprised at the selection: “It’s something I didn’t expect. At the start of this season, it was just good to be back playing for Warwickshire. If someone had said to me two years ago, when I hurt my knee, that I’d be selected by England, I’d have snapped their hands off. To come back and play some consistent cricket was a big thing for me, to show to myself and to others that I can be out there for a long period of time.

Stone had been selected two years ago by England, only to miss out for the most bizarre reason: he dismissed Moeen Ali in a T20 match, leapt up in the air to celebrate, and damaged an anterior cruciate ligament in the process. That did not matter, as eight counties were soon queueing up to sign him away from Northamptonshire; Warwickshire won the tussle.

“And I’m so grateful to Warwickshire. To let me come when I was still injured was a great opportunity. I’m thankful for the time and effort they’ve put in with my rehabilitation and keep me ticking over. It was a great call to get on Thursday. They said earlier in the week that they’d be in contact over the next few days with regard to the rest of my winter but I didn’t realise that was on my radar.

How will Stone cope with the pitches on Sri Lanka, where Australia and South Africa have suffered whitewashes? “Everybody’s saying Sri Lanka is not the greatest place to go and make your debut, if selected. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. And, even if it doesn’t go well, hopefully I can land some skills that I can bring back to county cricket.”

Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel, no less than a legend for the county, expressed his satisfaction at Stone’s selection: “What a week for him, but what a feather in our cap too.

“In the last few years, since Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, we’ve not had so many England calls. Chris Woakes was always going to do it but we haven’t had too many others. It started with Sam Hain being called up by England Lions and now it’s great for Olly to do this.”