Sam Hain has spoken of the “overwhelming” messages of support from Bears fans following news of his first England call-up – and thanked the Club for setting him on a path to international honours.

On Wednesday Hain was named in a 13-player squad for England Men’s Metro Bank ODI Series against Ireland later this month.

The 28-year-old – who surpassed 13,000 career runs this summer – has been in scintillating form in the 2023 campaign.

He topped the Vitality Blast batting averages (96.20) and averages more than 50 in the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One.

England selectors have now given ‘Hainy’ the opportunity to test himself at the highest level – an opportunity many believe is long overdue – when the three-game series starts at Headingley on 20 September.

“It’s a bit surreal…I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet,” said Hain, who moved from Australia to join the Bears Academy aged 16 and made his debut in 2013.

“I’ve had an influx of messages since the news broke, plus support on social media, it’s been quite overwhelming. It’s a dream come true. Ever since I signed my first professional contract I’ve always wanted to test how good I am at cricket at the highest level so to get the national call is amazing.

“I texted Cookie (Keith Cook, Cricket Operations Manager) saying it’s funny how much things have changed and the journey I’ve been on.

“He picked me up as a 16-year-old in the snow, I was wearing shorts and flip flops. Over the last 10 years this place (Edgbaston) has certainly become home so it’s a hell of a journey that’s for sure but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I’m so grateful for Warwickshire giving me a chance all those years ago. Ten years later I’m sitting here, with hopefully a few more years to come. I’m really excited not only where this club is going but my own progression as well.”

Hain’s sparkling form in the last two seasons had led to increasing calls for his England bow from cricket commentators and fans alike.

“There has been a lot of chat,” added Hain, “but I’ve tried to stay grounded and of course not take myself too seriously.

“I think sometimes in the past I got caught up in the destination of playing for England and got lost in the journey. When I missed out on The Hundred (in 2021) I did bit of soul searching to find areas to improve my game.

“I’ve tried to go back to the reason why I started playing this game which was, ultimately, to have fun and winning games for Warwickshire.”

And Hain said his parents and brothers – who still live in Australia – and his adopted Bears family have all celebrated his latest career milestone.

“All the guys have been saying congratulations; it was pretty cool walking into the dressing after the news. I know they all care and they know how big it is for me to get the call.

“Our dressing room is special because everyone wants everyone else to do well on and off the field, we all really love each other.

“Breaking the news to my parents was a proud moment, they were obviously delighted.

“I’ve taken time to reflect on what they did for me ever since I was a kid, getting me the kit, driving me to games, training, so this is not just for me but for my whole family.

“It’ll be a special time (joining the England squad) and I’m just so grateful for all they did to get me to where I am today.”