JOSH TONGUE is set to earn a family friend £50,000 once he makes his Test debut for England.
Tim Piper placed a £100 bet on Tongue to rise to the national Test side 14 years ago.
Josh Tongue’s debut for England could come against Ireland
Which will earn family friend Tim Piper £50,000 after he placed a bet on him 14 years ago
The cricket star was only 11 at the time and left Piper, 56, impressed with his spin skills despite his young age.
At the Redditch Cricket Club in the 1990s, Piper was a team-mate of Tongue’s dad and became aware of the youngster’s skill with the ball.
He did want to place the bet on him to make it to England when Tongue was only six, but could not find a bookmaker willing to offer any odds.
He told BBC Sport: “It was amazing.
“There was this little kid who bowled leg-spin, googlies and top-spinners. It was like Shane Warne.”
Tongue, now 25, was moved to the Worcestershire Academy when he was six and converted to a pace bowler.
Five years later, Piper made a bet at Coral when he was offered odds of 500-1.
Piper kept the bet slip in a cupboard ever since and will be enjoying his bonus when Tongue makes his debut against Ireland.
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“I’ve kept the bet slip in a cupboard all these years.
“I just thought to myself ‘it must be worth £100’. If he doesn’t make it, he’d make us proud anyway.
“This is just a bonus for him to get in the Test team.”
The bet slip states that Tongue must “play a Test match for England” for Piper to win his bet.
However, he almost lost his bet last year as the cricketer came close to retiring after persistent shoulder problems.
He overcame the problems with Botox injections and was called up to the England squad last week.
But Piper never gave up as he said: “He had all those injuries, but I never gave up on him.
“I kept thinking ‘maybe it can happen’. These last two weeks have been a mad turnaround.”
Piper, the landlord of the Cricketers Arms pub in Redditch, hopes Tongue can pick up a five-for and get his name on the prestigious honours board at Lord’s.
Josh Tongue pictured at 10 years old
Josh was only 11 years old when Piper placed the £100 bet
England head coach Brendon McCullum spoke about Tongue’s addition to the Test side on Monday.
He told the press: “He’s got some real skills, he’s obviously a bit of rough diamond.
“We think he’s got something a little bit exciting hence we brought him into the squad.
“He’s another one who looks like he’s got an immense amount of talent.”
The one-off four-day test against Ireland is set to start on June 1 as part of England’s preparations for The Ashes against Australia this summer.