Dillon Pennington has been brought into the Worcestershire squad for the Specsavers County Championship match with leaders Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens beginning tomorrow.
The 20-year-old played in eight Division One Championship matches last summer when injuries to Joe Leach and Josh Tongue meant places in the bowling attack were up for grabs.
Producing consistent performances is always a challenge for a young player but Pennington showed his potential, ended with 22 wickets and impressed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and South African paceman Morne Morkel when playing against Yorkshire and Surrey respectively.
Now he is back fit after overcoming a bruised heel and then an ankle ligament injury sustained during fielding practice in mid April and picked up five wickets for the Seconds this week in the first innings of a drawn game with Derbyshire.
Pennington, who is studying at the University of Worcester, is part of a 12 man squad announced this afternoon by First Team Coach Alex Gidman.
It consists of the players in action against Sussex at Kidderminster minus the injured Wayne Parnell (hamstring) – plus Pennington and Charlie Morris.
Gidman said: “We would have liked Dill to have had more overs (under his belt) and the weather has obviously played a huge part in that.
“But credit to him, he is a fit, young boy. He has done everything in his power to get ready and he is a good young pro.
“He is a young talent, one of two or three young bowlers we know we’ve got that are very talented.
“At the same time Dill, like the rest of them, is at the beginning of his career and he has got a long journey ahead of him hopefully.
“But he has got everything in place, has got his head on his shoulders, and he is going to give himself the best chance to succeed.”
Pennington’s England Under-19 team-mate and new ball partner, Adam Finch, has made his County debut in the past two games.
Gidman said: “They are both talented young cricketers and one thing I am very conscious of, and keen that I continue, is the wonderful tradition of giving young Worcestershire cricketers a chance.
“It’s really important that we as a club continue to do that and try and keep creating some of your potential England players.
“We’ve got Josh Dell who has forced his way into the first team as well. Jack Haynes has now joined us full-time so there are some good young cricketers around.
“Hopefully they perform well enough to get in and remain in the first team for Worcestershire.”
Bowling Coach Alan Richardson said: “It’s just unfortunate we haven’t had much second team cricket recently because of the weather.
“But Dillon has been fantastic. He’s really driven himself physically to get back on the park.
“We’ve got an in important stretch of three games in three weeks leading into the T20 (Vitality Blast) so to have as many hands on deck as possible would be lovely.”