FORMER Tallangatta cricketer Paul Coughlin will play for England as a substitute fieldsman in tomorrow’s fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Durham.
In a fairytale rise from obscurity, the promising all-rounder will help Alastair Cook’s all-conquering team as it attempts to inflict more pain on the tourists.
The Durham Cricket Academy member has spent the past two Australian summers at Tallangatta with Bushies president Jon Thomas saying last night the Englishman kept in regular contact with the club.
“It’s fantastic news,” he said.
“He’s very popular with the players and all the young cricketers at Tallangatta and we all hope he does well, but not too well.
“It will be terrific to see him out on the ground in an Ashes series.
“It’s a real bonus for Cricket Albury-Wodonga.”
Coughlin, 20, has only just returned to the playing arena for Durham’s second XI after being struck down by stress fractures in his back several months ago.
He is expected to return to Australia later this year, but is yet to decide where.
The Cricket Albury-Wodonga representative made his first-class debut for Durham against the touring Australia A side last August, making an unbeaten 29 from 44 balls and taking the wicket of Michael Klinger.
The Australia A team included Test players Ed Cowan and Mitchell Starc.
Coughlin made almost 500 runs and took 17 wickets in 2011-12 in a stellar debut season for Tallangatta before taking 14 wickets and scoring 114 runs in a handful of appearances this year.
He has also won the Bill Clarke medal as CAW’s best player at Melbourne Country Week.