England’s emerging star Will Jacks admits franchise cricket ‘opens up other doors’… but after debuting for his country in all three formats in the past six months, he has his sights firmly set on becoming a three lions regular
- Will Jacks has impressed in franchise cricket in England and overseas
- He has now been handed his debut in all three formats of international cricket
- Jacks has dreamed of playing for England, and now wants to establish himself
Will Jacks’ preparations for a third England debut in the space of six months were hardly Hollywood: 48 hours in the same boxer shorts, borrowed kit to practise with, not to mention the jet lag.
But for a cricketer who at the age of 24 is a product of the franchise generation and embodies its qualities in his dynamic batting, the dash to Dhaka from New Zealand to play his first one-day international was worth the inconvenience.
In the club v country debate that has engulfed English cricket over recent months, Jacks sides with the three lions.
‘I landed at midnight on the 25th and my bags didn’t arrive, so I didn’t get those until the morning before the game,’ he said, after contributing a second top score 26 and taking a solid one for 18 with his off-spin in the three-wicket win over Bangladesh on Wednesday.
‘I hit some underarms with Phil Salt’s gloves and one of Dawid Malan’s bats two days ago and I got some new training gear but apart from that, I wore the same underwear for two days basically. I pretty much just sat on my bed in the same clothes.’
Will Jacks was handed his first one-day international cap by Jason Roy on Wednesday
Jacks has caught the eye with his big-hitting, and wants to play for England as much as he can
Jacks is also a useful off-spinner and took a wicket on debut against Bangladesh
The ramifications of travelling from Wellington, where he was a member of England’s Test tour, contained none of the glamour of the other world that Jacks has begun to frequent.
A player who crunched 108 from 48 balls in the Hundred last year has naturally been in demand and he begins a £320,000 Indian Premier League contract with Royal Challengers Bangalore this month.
So, the challenge going forward for emerging, multi-format players like Jacks, and indeed Harry Brook, will be to find ways for international ambition and lucrative Twenty20 assignments to co-exist.
This winter highlights the difficulties. Since the end of the last county season, in which he was a Championship winner with Surrey, Jacks has made England bows in Twenty20 and Test cricket in Pakistan and then squeezed in the SA20, where he struck a competition high 19 sixes.
‘Growing up, the England badge and playing for England has been something I’ve dreamed of and something that I know going forward, I want to do as much of as I can,’ he said.
‘With that being said, playing franchise cricket obviously opens up other doors and gives you… well, everyone knows what that can give you.
‘I think I’ve had six days at home since the start of November. That’s pretty ridiculous to me to be honest, but it’s just the way the schedule is at the moment.
‘Going forward, if I am going to be a red and white-ball player then I’ll have to really make a plan for my franchise cricket and what I’m going to play to make sure I don’t burn out and that I’m in a great place for play for England.’