Craig Overton risked a punctured lung to play his part in the third Ashes Test in Perth – and reckons that withstanding the pain was second nature because of the fast-bowling batterings he took while growing up from his twin brother Jamie.
Overton, one of the few bright spots in another disappointing England campaign, was hit in the ribs while batting in the second innings in Adelaide. While he initially reported little pain and was cleared to play in Perth, he sustained another blow in the same area after he landed heavily as he dived in vain for a caught and bowled chance. Subsequent scans showed a cracked rib.
But rather than sit out the rest of the match, Overton waved away warnings that he could sustain a more serious injury and dug in alongside his fellow bowlers as they struggled through two days in the field against Steve Smith and co.
“Battling through the pain is in my nature,” Overton said. “Growing up as a kid, with Jamie hitting me, it was always a case of ‘Get on with it’ really. You never want to show too much pain.”
The potential of the Overton twins have long excited Somerset cricket followers and, although it was Craig who achieved an England Test cap first, Jamie’s potential, at his best, to bowl a 90mph ball has seen him called up for England squads and encourages the thought that he might one day follow.
“We’re fighters down in Somerset, that’s how we play our cricket,” Overton said. “It was painful, but not too bad. Even though I didn’t bowl that many overs, I could still bowl some that the other boys didn’t have to. That was the aim, just to get through this game really.