‘Ben’s been brilliant with me’: James Bracey on his unlikely England role

The uncapped player is set to be handed the gloves for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s in Ben Foakes’ absence

James Bracey spent Sunday 23 May at the County Ground in Bristol, watching Gloucestershire’s game against Somerset peter out into a weather-affected draw and oblivious to the fact that approximately 120 miles due east an unused sock was about to change the course of his career.

After being an unused member of England’s biosecure bubble for much of the last year Bracey had been promoted into England’s squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand, which starts at Lord’s on Wednesday, after impressing with the bat over the early weeks of the County Championship. Though he keeps wicket for his county he had not expected to don gloves for his country, until Ben Foakes slipped on that sock in Surrey’s dressing room at the Oval, pulled a hamstring, and everything changed.

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