Who is Josh Tongue, England’s uncapped seamer who claimed the wicket of Steve Smith this year?

Josh Tongue has already claimed the wicket of Steve Smith this season

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Josh Tongue has come a long way, from the brink of retirement following debilitating injury problems to a maiden England call-up.

The Worcestershire seamer recently added Steve Smith to his impressive list of scalps in the County Championship and was called up by England for their first Test of the summer, against Ireland.

At 25, Tongue has taken some impressive wickets in the domestic competition, including Hashim Amla.

The seamer impressed during the Lions’ tour of Sri Lanka over the winter and could capitalise and seize the opportunity after Olly Stone was ruled out through injury.

Tongue has an extra yard of pace on the domestic circuit and caught the eye of the selectors, perhaps with a nod to the future with James Anderson now 40 and Stuart Broad 36.


“We have been monitoring Josh [Tongue] for quite some time and he deserves this call-up to the Test squad,” England men’s national selector Luke Wright said.

“It will be a great experience for him to understand and get used to the environment under Ben [Stokes] and Brendon [McCullum].

“It is important to have players ready to respond and with a big summer of Test cricket coming up, we will need that depth to our squad.

“We wish Josh and the rest of the squad well for the first international of the campaign.”

Tongue burst onto the scene early, making his England under-19 Test debut and first representing the England Lions aged just 19 in his debut season.

He boasts a bowling average of 26.04 in first-class cricket, having taken 162 wickets in just 47 matches.


In 2019, Tongue was first hit by a nerve tissue problem to his arm that affected him for more than a year, including two operations, and he only made his return in 2022.

The injury was so severe there were questions over whether his career would continue, but the bowler who made three appearances for the England Lions before his injury, now stands on the brink of a Test debut.

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