Phil Salt will use the words of England’s one-day captain Eoin Morgan as inspiration as he looks to force his way back into the international frame.
The Sussex opener was a surprise call-up for the one-off Twenty20 international against Pakistan earlier this month and although Salt did not make the final line-up, being around the England set-up has left him clear what he needs to do if he is going to get another taste of international cricket.
“Being part of the squad was an unbelievable feeling. To put the England kit on with my name on the back and see the three lions was really special,” he said. “I can’t describe how good it was.
“I haven’t been a part of any England squads but after the game Eoin Morgan told those of us who are not involved in the 50-overs squad to go back to our counties, run our own race and fight hard to get back into that (England) dressing room and that’s what I’m focusing on.
“His words really resonated with me. I need to keep doing more of the same and the more successful I am this summer the better my chances. It will definitely focus my mind a bit more.”
Yorkshire pace ace links up with Sussex
It's when not if for Salt in England set-up
Salt owed his selection to a stellar 12 months in white-ball cricket. The 22-year-old scored 355 runs in last season’s Vitality Blast and then caught the eye again last month when he blasted 137 off 106 balls in a Royal London One-Day Cup victory over Kent. But he admitted that when Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie interrupted a nap to tell him the good news he thought that it might have been a wind-up.
“I was having a sleep and the phone buzzed a couple of times,” he added. “I picked it up a third time and it was Dizzy, saying that (national selector) Ed Smith was trying to get hold of me.
“When I rang him back the first thing that I asked him was whether I supported England or Wales at rugby. To be honest, it was a good job Dizzy got hold of me first otherwise I might have thought it was the lads winding me up.”
Salt’s next chance to impress in white-ball cricket comes when the Vitality Blast starts in July, but his and Sussex’s focus for the next few weeks is a run of eight successive Specsavers County Championship matches starting at Northampton next Monday.
The 22-year-old has made one half-century in four innings so far and the county are anxious to build on their victory over Durham in their last game before the break for 50-overs cricket.
Gillespie gave his players some time off after the Royal London One-Day Cup campaign ended last week but several have been getting some red-ball practice against MCC Young Professionals this week with Salt, Luke Wells and Harry Finch all making half-centuries while Danny Briggs took five wickets.