Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson says he feels closer than ever to a Test cap after shadowing England greats James Anderson and Stuart Broad over the last year.
Robinson recently spent two months in Sri Lanka and India as a red-ball reserve having been part of England’s squad last summer.
The 27-year-old came close to making his debut when Sussex team-mate Jofra Archer breached coronavirus protocols before the second #raisethebat Test against the West Indies and is hopeful that first cap isn’t too far away.
“I feel I have learned a lot from Broady and Jimmy,” he said. “Just to talk to them for the past few months has been invaluable.
“I’ve learned a lot skill-wise and also off-the-field stuff as well. Jimmy is nearly 39 now but is probably the fittest he has ever been.
“Seeing him in person, working every day is what has stuck with me – how well he trains and how hard he trains every day. It’s about making that a habit as well and not just an England thing as well.
“England have drilled that into me, that they want me to work just as hard for Sussex as I did with them. If I want to have a long international career, that’s what I’ve got to do for the rest of my career.
“Hopefully with the winter I’ve had with England, my bowling and fitness work and my cricket in general, I can start flying really.”
Robinson’s role supporting England meant he made only two appearances in last year’s Bob Willis Trophy, but still managed to take 14 wickets at 12.50 apiece – taking his first-class record to 250 scalps at 21.78.
Now his sights are firmly set on adding to that tally when he leads the Sussex attack, starting in the first round of LV= Insurance County Championship fixtures next week.
Asked if he felt closer than ever to a full England cap, Robinson said: “Yes, I think so. They’ve said to me, ‘look towards the New Zealand series in June’. That is my aim at the moment – start the season well with Sussex – and hopefully I can get in that squad and in the XI.”
LV= Insurance is the new title partner of the County Championship. The season begins on April 8 with champions Essex taking on Worcestershire. For more information visit lv.com/gi/cricket