Only in the modern era could anyone make as bizarre a first class debut as that of Sam Wood. After three days of a 2011 championship match against Lancashire at Trent Bridge, Samit Patel was whisked away to join up with the full England squad.
Permitted to name a full replacement, Mick Newell opted to have a look at the young all-rounder and he was even thrown the ball for a brief, wicket-less, four-over spell.
The left-handed batsman and right-arm off-spinner had deserved a chance after showing his mettle as a late call-up on the tour of Abu Dhabi and Dubai last spring. With 28 needed from just two overs Sam teamed up with skipper Chris Read to launch a violent assault upon the MCC bowlers to steer Notts into the final of the Emirates Airlines Twenty20 competition.
Further first team experience came in the CB40 competition, where he made three appearances, picking up his first wickets in another match against Lancashire, taking the scalps of Paul Horton and Farveez Maharoof in consecutive deliveries.
2012 will see Sam bidding to help England’s Under-19s do well in the World Cup in Australia, enabling him to build on a fine start to his international career at that level which has already seen him register a century in a Youth Test match.