Craig Overton: England Ashes hopeful has matured - Matthew Maynard

Craig Overton
Craig Overton has taken 43 first-class wickets for Somerset this season, including two five-wicket hauls

Seamer Craig Overton has removed the "childish" part of his game to make him an Ashes contender, says Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard.

Overton, 23, has taken 186 first-class wickets at an average of 26.48.

He was given a two-match ban in December 2015 for abusive language, but Maynard believes he is mature enough to play for England in Australia.

"He's always had the ability and the talent. Where, for me, he's improved is his emotional control," Maynard said.

The 51-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "He got into trouble a little bit in my first year but they were childish, petulant things as opposed to anything else.

"We got him some help and some counselling. We also talked to him about his responsibilities as a Somerset player. He's responded fantastically well."

Overton was given the ban for allegedly swearing at Pakistan-born Sussex batsman Ashar Zaidi and telling him to "get back to your own country" - accusations he denied.

The right-armer came close to selection for England's Test tour of South Africa in the same year and has been included in limited-overs squads, along with his twin brother Jamie.

He has performed well for the England Lions, taking 18 wickets and scoring 196 runs in 22 limited-overs appearances.

"He is one of the leaders about the culture in our team now," added Maynard, who joined Somerset at the end of the 2014 season.

"He really pushes chat about the game - discussions about the tactics - in the dressing room. He leads the fielding."

England name their Ashes squad on Wednesday at 10:00 BST but injuries to several players - including fast bowler Toby Roland-Jones - means there may be a place for Overton.

Durham seamer Mark Wood has also struggled with injury throughout the summer, while Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed broke his finger during a County Championship match last week.

England begin their Ashes defence in Brisbane on 23 November.

Top Stories