Runs matter most in England cause
Daniel Bell-Drummond hopes his incredible form in the first half of the season can help him join Kent team-mate Sam Billings in the England set-up.
Although he has managed just 36 runs in his last three appearances in the past week, the 22-year-old opener has more than 1,200 runs in all competitions already this season and has been the subject of praise from all quarters.
Bell-Drummond claimed he was not surprised by his form, saying: “I’ve ridden my luck at times and batted well at times. I’m just grateful it’s happened.
“I’m happy with how I’ve been. It’s been a bit different to previous seasons but I just want to keep my head down and keep my form up for myself and the team.”
Bell-Drummond revealed he had not been contacted by England selectors amid his run of form but hadn’t expected to receive a white-ball call this week.
He said: “I haven’t heard anything and wasn’t expecting to.
“A few people have said a few nice things to me. It’s an honour to think that people are banging my drum. It shows how well I’ve done.”
Bell-Drummond was named in the England Performance Programme training squad before Christmas and then the England Lions white-ball squad to face Pakistan A in Janury, having previously earned England under-19 honours aged just 16.
He admitted: “At the start of the season I’d just come back, hadn’t played much for the Lions, had a few niggles. I didn’t know how the season was going to pan out.”
“My dream is to play for England one day but I’ve got to keep scoring runs – I’ve only done it consistently for these three months just gone. I’m desperate to keep my form going and score runs for Kent and keep pushing for higher honours.”
While Bell-Drummond being overlooked for the England ODI squad on Monday was no surprise, Billings being overlooked was, although the keeper-batsman, who turned 25 on Wednesday did earn a T20 call to face Sri Lanka on July 5.
Skipper Sam Northeast said: “It was a surprise. Apparently he knew before the game last Sunday (against Glamorgan when Billings hit 106 not out from 54 balls).
“He went out and got a hundred so that’s probably a bit of a wakeup call to selectors.”
As for Bell-Drummond, Northeast added: “Everyone takes it for granted now – if he doesn’t get 60-plus we’re all disappointed. Hopefully, people above are looking at him because he’s certainly in great nick.”