Oliver John Douglas Pope, a name that popped out from nowhere and surprised many. In an act of daring or desperation by the ECB, as it was put out by the English media, a young 20-year old was selected for the national team during India's tour of England in 2018. The young boy, short in stature, known for his cuts and pulls enjoyed an amazing season with Surrey where he led the Division One batting charts after scoring 684 runs at an average of 85.5. His outstanding form didn't go unnoticed and he soon found the backing of the selectors and his skipper, Joe Root, who himself started his Test career at a tender age.
Innovative strokeplay has been the highlight of Pope's batting and his List A and T20 strike rate speaks volumes about his hard-hitting prowess. Owing to the consistent failure of Dawid Malan, Pope was handed a golden opportunity and he went on to become one of the youngest to debut for England at number 4.
The much-awaited call-up to the international squad followed in August 2018, as he was included in the squad for the second Test match to face India. His Test debut came on 9 August 2018 at Lord's. His consistency was awarded as Pope was awarded the PCA Young Player of the Year award. Pope was subsequently selected for England's tour of Sri Lanka but he played no part in England's first Test. He was then released from the tour in order to join up with the England Lions for their game against Pakistan A in the UAE.
Ollie Pope has been in-and-out of the English squad and would be looking for an opportunity to seal his place in the national team.