As Jake Ball steps out to make his senior England debut today, he will be celebrating signing a new long-term sponsorship with Gunn & Moore as well as getting his hands on a coveted Test cap.
The Nottinghamshire fast bowler – nicknamed the ‘Welbeck Wizard’ – will make his Test debut at Lord’s against Pakistan to cap a remarkable and deserved rise to become part of England’s bowling attack.
He made his first-class debut in 2011 and it is his performances in the last two seasons that have really caught the eye, taking 41 first-class wickets last summer at 29.51 and 35 this season at 22.22 – including dismissing England stars Adam Lyth, Joe Root and Gary Balance in a televised Championship game earlier this season.
With 31 wickets to his name, no bowler who has bowled 150 or more overs this season in the County Championship this season has a better average (23.93) than Ball.
Ball is the nephew of ex-England wicket-keeper Bruce French, and he follows in his footsteps as a Nottinghamshire player, an England international and a GM-sponsored player.
“We’re delighted to welcome Jake to Gunn & Moore in what is an extremely exciting period of his career,” Tom Coffey, GM Product Manager said.
“Over the last eighteen months to two years, Jake’s progression has been clear for everyone to see, moving through fast bowling camps on England Development Programmes to England Lions tours and now on the verge of making his Test debut.
“We’re very much looking forward to supporting Jake as he continues his progression towards further honours.”
Mansfield-born Ball, who has been involved with the England Test set-up all summer, now gets his chance at the highest level, and says he is delighted that GM will be helping him on his journey.
“I am delighted to join Team GM at such an important time in my career and I look forward to using their bats and equipment as my career develops.
“Being a local Nottingham firm and the strong historic and on-going links between GM and Notts CCC make it an ideal relationship for me.”
Ball has joined six of his Nottinghamshire team-mates – Luke Fletcher, Michael Lumb, Samit Patel, Chris Read, Billy Root, and Brendan Taylor – as part of the GM team and will be using the GM Mana F4.5 DXM bat.