Simon Kerrigan admits that the news of his selection for England Lions as a replacement for Hampshire's Danny Briggs came completely "out of the blue" on Monday afternoon.
The 22-year-old left-arm spinner had just been told by Peter Moores that he was not in the side for the Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Sussex when the Lancashire coach added that he had some good news for him and passed him a mobile phone.
The highly-rated slow bowler was then informed by Lions coach David Parsons that he was in the squad for the three-match one-day series against Sri Lanka, which begins at Worcester on Friday.
"Obviously I'm very pleased about my selection," said Kerrigan. "After being chosen for the England Development squad in the winter, it was an ambition of mine to get into the Lions side. David Parsons just told me to enjoy it and carry on doing what I was doing for Lancashire."
Kerrigan's selection has come during a season in which he has played eight Clydesdale Bank40 games and six Friends Life t20 matches, but has made only two Championship appearances. He admits that he has found this frustrating but also a useful test of his professionalism.
"I turn up at games thinking I've got a good chance of playing and then I'm told that I'm not in the team," he said. "But as a professional cricketer you have to deal with that and get on with the next game. I still think I'm bowling really well."
And Kerrigan's assessment of his progress was confirmed by Lancashire second team coach Gary Yates, who believes that the England selectors have made a "very wise" choice.
"Simon's development has been quick and very exciting," said Yates. "In his short time in the first-class game his statistics are starting to prove that he's a player with the talent and potential to become an international cricketer.
"He's added more patience to his game this season," continued Yates. "The potency's always been there and he thinks he'll take a wicket every ball, which is a good mental strength to have. But he's happier now that he's also showing patience."
"I'd agree with that assessment," said Kerrigan. "The patience has come from my knowing my own game and having to bowl in powerplay overs when you have to stick to a gameplan."
Despite his Lancashire commitments, Kerrigan has also made important contributions to Ormskirk's bid to win the Liverpool Competition's Premier League title and club skipper Ian Robinson is also delighted by his player's selection.
"It's very well deserved," he said. "It's fantastic news and we're very pleased for him. In himself he hasn't changed since he joined Ormskirk. He's always been a very confident bowler, who knew what field he wanted. However, he has become more consistent and more difficult to score off."
England Lions vs Sri Lanka A One Day Series
10.45am Friday 12 August New Road, Worcester
10.45 am Sunday 14 August New Road, Worcester
10.45am Tuesday 16 August, Northampton
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article is copyright of Lancashire CCC and must not be reproduced without permission