BEN FOAKES has “18.09.06” tattooed on his left wrist and it has large private significance.
The numbers are a everlasting reminder of the day the daddy of England’s new wicketkeeper died immediately of a coronary heart assault 11 years in the past on the age of 60.
Some readers may bear in mind Peter Foakes.
He was a former Premier League and Soccer League referee whose remaining match earlier than retirement was Bolton’s epic Four-Three Division One play-off victory over Studying at Wembley in 1995.
Now Ben is extending the household sporting profile with an Ashes tour after some excellent performances for Surrey with bat and gloves.
At the beginning of final summer time, Surrey supremo Alec Stewart described Foakes as “the very best wicketkeeper on the planet” and he’s going a way in the direction of dwelling as much as that mantle.
He has overtaken Jos Buttler and Sam Billings as No2 Check ‘keeper and is more likely to be Jonny Bairstow’s understudy in Australia.
However, if Bairstow is injured or England determined to shuffle the steadiness of the group within the absence of Ben Stokes, Foakes is able to step in.
In fact, there’s a deeply poignant hyperlink with Bairstow, who wrote so movingly in his current autobiography about his personal father’s untimely loss of life.
Foakes, 24, mentioned: “My dad died after I was 13 – he received me into sport, took me to cricket, took me to coaching and clearly it was an enormous hit when he died.
“It took me a number of years to cope with. He had a coronary heart assault – there was no warning in any respect. It was fairly tough.”
Foakes would have change into a county champion this 12 months if he had stayed at Essex moderately than be a part of Surrey three years in the past.
However he has no regrets and insisted: “I used to be happy for Essex after they received the title however I’m very pleased at Surrey.
“I’m so enthusiastic about this tour, it’s taken a few weeks to sink in.
“That actually occurred once we had a camp at Loughborough final week.
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“Until then, I couldn’t properly process it but, when we got together as a squad and being with Jimmy and Broady and everyone, that’s when it hit.
“When Alec Stewart made those comments, I saw them on Facebook and obviously had a few Indian fans jibing and bringing up MS Dhoni! But it was lovely to hear.
“I wasn’t ‘keeping regularly when I first came to Surrey and at Essex I’d been behind James Foster.
“I made the decision to move to Surrey and I’ve been ‘keeping regularly over the last couple of years. To be here now shows the progress I’ve made.
“Obviously, Jonny is world-class and I can’t expect to replace him. I’m just trying to prepare to play the first game.
“I want to maintain my consistency and develop even further.
“There are lot of things out of your control and comparing myself to other people such as Jonny could be a distraction and is not helpful.
“It’s not about other people – it’s about whether I’m comfortable with my own game.
“I’m not a big extrovert. I’m better in one-to-one chats rather than being the joker in the pack.
“I’m not a massively talkative ‘keeper. I don’t seek out people to sledge, that’s not really part of my game.
“But there are times when you have to try to get in the batter’s head.”