WHENEVER a player makes it to the international stage in any sport, the stories come thick and fast about where it all began. 

For Josh Tongue, he will be cheered onto the famous Lord's turf by all of his family and the traveling Barnards Green contingent when he makes his England test debut.

The now Worcestershire pace-bowler will join the likes of Ben Stokes, Joe Root, James Anderson and Stuart Broad on the pitch this week (starting Thursday June 1) as they play Ireland in their pre-Ashes warm-up match. 

Tongue remains a club member at the Green, the local club in Malvern that plays at the highest level of club cricket in the country. His brother Ryan is a current player in the squad and opens the batting, having also captained the team in recent years. 

Father Phil Tongue is the groundsman at the club and mother Jenny Firat is the club treasurer, all of whom will be at Lord's this week to watch their boy play for England on what is bound to be an immensely proud moment for all concerned. 

Tim Williams, who is the club's social media guru, posted an in-depth piece on Josh - you can find that here - and his rise to the top, but in the following snippet, he recalled the first time he met the now 711th England cap. 

"My first meeting with Josh came when he was around 7 years old – I was doing some coaching with his dad, Phil, somewhere in deepest Redditch and Josh, along with brother, Ryan, came along," he said.

"Even at this age, he had something of a reputation as a young prodigy – pressing for district and county selection, years early. 

"Josh was a different shape back then: he was short (ish) and strongly built – a sturdy young man! Before long, Josh was making a name for himself – a really quick bowler and powerful batter.

"He was scoring runs for fun and taking wickets with ease. I recall him being a key part of the King’s School 1st XI from a very early age and it started to become assumed that Josh would go on to play for Worcestershire and who knows how far he could go."

Well, it turns out, he would go as far as he could! Tongue made his Worcestershire debut in 2016 but he made a real name for himself in 2017 when he took 47 wickets in the County Championship. 

That earned him an England Lions call-up but injuries prevented him being able to pull on the shirt. 

Injuries have often threatened to put an end to his career but that will make his debut this week that bit more special and those making the trip from Malvern to London this week will no doubt be cheering him on throughout.