Fairytale for Schofield
Chris Schofield yesterday completed a fairytale turnaround in his fortunes when he was named in England's squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa next month.
Schofield, who has played for Suffolk in this season's Minor Counties KO Trophy, joins Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara in the 14-man squad for the inaugural showcase event.
The 28-year-old joined Suffolk last season in his quest to return to the first-class fold and impressed Surrey sufficiently to earn a one-year contract at the Brit Oval on a dual registration, enabling him to turn out for the Minor County when not required by his new employers.
Schofield was 21 when he was handed a Test debut and central contract as an aspiring leg-spinner with Lancashire, but his demise was complete when he left Old Trafford in acrimonious circumstances in 2004.
He was awarded a minimal amount for an unfair dismissal case at an industrial tribunal in Manchester but was forced to turn to Minor Counties cricket when there were no suitors the following summer.
Schofield has been one of the stars of Twenty20 cricket this season, although it still surprised many when he was included in England's provisional 30-man squad.
“It's been a big rollercoaster for me,” said Schofield.
“It's been a challenge getting back into county cricket, things have gone really well and now I want to play against the best players in the world. I enjoyed the experience of playing Test cricket, I loved every minute of it.
“Obviously you had the Shane Warne factor at the time, and they probably thought of throwing me in at the deep end because I was doing really well with England A.
“I've matured over the years, I know where I went wrong, I'm back working hard on my bowling trying to get back to where I was - hopefully I've grown up a little bit.”
Schofield finished joint top of the Twenty20 wicket-takers' list with 17 in only eight matches during 2007, with a strike rate of a wicket every nine balls, to catch the eye of the England selectors.