Craig Miles admits his abrupt call up as concussion substitute was a "bizarre" way to join Warwickshire's LV=Insurance County Championship game against Essex - but he was delighted to make a contribution to the resounding victory.
The all-rounder was at home on Friday afternoon preparing his kit for a Birmingham League game for Leamington next day when he received an urgent, and rather surprising, call from Bears first team coach Mark Robinson: “Get back to the ground…you’re next in!”
Liam Norwell had just taken a short delivery on the head and Miles was soon on his way to becoming the first Bear to be used as a concussion sub. An hour later he was back at Edgbaston and out in the middle….and went on to play a key role in the ten-wicket win over Essex, helping Michael Burgess add 64 for the tenth wicket and then taking the last four wickets in Essex’s second innings.
“It was a bizarre way for me to get into the game,” Miles said. “I had done some training with the rest of the squad on the colts ground then did a stint on the radio. A couple of other guys were going twelfth man duties so I was free to go.
“I got home and was packing my kit away and getting ready to play club cricket the next day when I noticed I had a load of missed calls from Robbo. I rang him and he said to get back to Edgbaston as quick as I could because I was next in!Craig Miles
“So I loaded everything back in the car and rushed back to the ground. I was padded up for five balls before Olly Hannon-Dalby got out and I went in. It was nice to have a little partnership with Burgy and watch from the other end while he did his brilliant stuff and then it was good to get some wickets because I didn’t pick any up against Surrey.
“To get those two at the back end of the third day was great because Dan Lawrence and Simon Harmer and formed a good partnership and Shane Snater was playing very positively.”
Miles’s surprise input was important in advancing the Bears towards an excellent win over potential challengers for their title. He was pleased to help out a bowling attack which, superbly led by Olly Hannon-Dalby and Henry Brookes, coped manfully with the loss of Norwell as well as the absence of the already injured Olly Stone, Chis Woakes and George Garrett.
“The third day was a tough bowling day and Henry bowled really well into the strong wind,” Miles said. “Olly was superb and his quality gives the likes of Henry and me licence to come in and try to hit the pitch a bit harder.
“Olly has just gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years and Henry has bowled beautifully in the first two games this season without getting the rewards he deserves.”
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