Overton ready to seize Ashes chance

England's Craig Overton has vowed he is "going to be ready if selected" for the eagerly-awaited first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

Craig Overton, James Anderson and Dawid Malan practise at a training session.   -  Getty Images

Uncapped all-rounder Craig Overton holds no fears of stepping into Ben Stokes' shoes for the heat of an Ashes battle in the first Test of the series at the Gabba. Overton could make his first full international appearance when England faces Australia in Brisbane this month, with Stokes absent following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

The 23-year-old said he will be ready for the call if he is given the nod to make his bow on such a huge stage. "It's a big tour for me so I'll take the opportunities that come and it'll be a good experience," Overton said.

'Right time'

"There's a good chance I'm going to be playing so it's making sure I'm going to be ready if selected for that first Test. You can't be too fearful of it. You've got to enjoy it and make sure you make the most it. Playing Test cricket for England doesn't last forever so you've got to make sure you enjoy it as much as possible.

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"My game's progressed really nicely the last couple of years at Somerset so hopefully it feels like the right time and I can take my chance if it comes."

Turning point

Overton was banned for two matches in 2015 after committing three on-field offences in the space of a year, including being accused of making a racist remark to Pakistan-born all-rounder Ashar Zaidi.

Although Overton said he did not recall making a racist comment, he looks back on that time as a turning point in his career. "That's not how you behave on a cricket field," Overton stated. "You can't act like that. It was not just that incident. The whole summer there were a few instances. I've calmed down the last couple of years and I think what happened has made me realise you can't go on acting like that. I don't want to lose the edge.

"It's just finding the right balance and not going too far. That incident matured me a little bit which I'm really happy with and I've moved on from that. It was massively a turning point."

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