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From the recruitment office to England job: Jamie Porter’s rapid rise

first_imgfeatures Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest “I knew I was on the radar then through chatting to Ed Smith,” says Porter. “He said he thought there was room in that side for my sort of bowler and all he wanted from me was to make sure I went away doing everything I could to be ready when the chance comes.“It was nice to get a feel for how that environment works. I stayed in the team hotel the night before, did the full training session with the lads the next day, so I got a feel for how they go about their business. I guess that means it will be a bit less of a step into the unknown next week.”It was during the 2005 Ashes when a 12-year-old Porter fell in love with cricket. “I remember we went on a family holiday to Portugal during the Old Trafford Test and I came back whiter than when I went because I was glued to the TV for five days,” he recalls. “I remember there was one day when everyone else went to the beach and I faked being ill so I could stay in and watch it. From that moment on, playing for England was the dream.”Essex, meanwhile, made India’s bowlers work hard on day two in Chelmsford, closing on 237 for five following half-centuries for Tom Westley and Michael Pepper. India’s cause what not helped when Ravichandran Ashwin, their key spinner, hurt a finger batting in the nets in the morning. Ashwin did not bowl but is expected to do so on the final day and is not considered a doubt for the first Test. Share via Email Share on Facebook Vic Marks Read more Read more Support The Guardian Essex Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Cricket Don’t whine at Adil Rashid over his switch from white to red From working as a recruitment consultant to being recruited by England. And all in less than five years. It has been some journey for Jamie Porter. The 25-year-old Essex seamer became one of the most deserving England call-ups of recent years when he was named in the England squad for next week’s first Test against India at Edgbaston.Porter’s rise has followed two and a half seasons of excellence on the county circuit, with his 55 Division Two wickets in the summer of 2016 key to Essex’s County Championship promotion and another 75 at 16.82 last year helping them to a surprise title win in their first season back in the top flight.Between now and then Porter has overcome a back injury that ruled him out of contention for last winter’s Ashes tour, gained experience with England Lions and taken another 28 Championship wickets this summer.But given where he was in the winter of 2013-14, when Porter contemplated giving up cricket and took a job as a recruitment consultant in Enfield, he deserves to savour this moment.“It’s funny how it all works out,” he said. “There was a point where I had accepted the fact after three years of second-team cricket that it hasn’t happened. That was the time to see what the real world was offering. I went into recruitment – and actually enjoyed it – but I was missing cricket and luckily I did well for my club side, Chingford, and Essex had some injuries, so I only ended up doing a winter in recruitment and I made my debut at the end of the next season.”That came in September 2014 against Kent at Chelmsford, when Porter took just one wicket. Since then, though, he has hardly looked back and is on the brink of a Test debut next week.Porter, rested for Essex’s tour match with India in Chelmsford, will probably be contesting the third and final seam-bowling place in England’s team at Edgbaston with Sam Curran. Yet time spent with England in Leeds last month before the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley, including an encouraging chat with Ed Smith, the chief selector, will stand the Essex man in good stead for the biggest week of his career. 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