Cricket 2023 The Ashes | Aussie bolter Jimmy Peirson’s ‘crazy’ journey to Ashes selection

When the world shut down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson sat down and took stock of his career.

In his late-20s, Peirson had been toiling away in the Sheffield Shield and wasn’t sure his chance at an international call-up was ever going to come.

He embarked on a rebuild of his game that three years later, has put him on a flight to England as part of an Ashes squad.

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Peirson will travel to Lord’s ahead of the second test as cover for back-up wicketkeeper Josh Inglis, who will return home to Australia for the birth of his first child.

Now 30, he has a first-class average of 34.75, and went on the most recent tour of New Zealand with Australia A.

The self-proclaimed cricket tragic said he spent many a long night watching Ashes series in England, and it was “crazy” to think he could now play a part in that story.

“At Lord’s of all places,” he told Peter Psaltis on Wide World of Sports Radio on 4BC Brisbane.

“I think I’ve done alright to get a flight over to Lord’s purely as a cricket lover and as a fan, that’s just a great box-tick.

“To be actually in amongst the inner sanctum and to play a part in some way shape or form, is something I hold very close to my heart.

“Oh jeez I’d love to get a baggy green there, but I won’t get too far ahead of myself.”

Peirson’s first taste of an Ashes tour came ahead of the 2013 series. He was playing in England and got the call-up to put on the gloves for an intra-squad practice match.

“I remember thinking ‘how special is this’ … and 10 years later, I get an opportunity to actually be a part of the Ashes squad,” he said.

“By no means do I wish ill on (Alex Carey) … but I’m in the right place and if the opportunity came up and I was needed to jump in and do a job, I’d certainly be ready for it and take it with both hands.”

Australia’s tour of England starts with the World Test Championship final against India at Lord’s on June 7.

The first Ashes test at Edgbaston starts on June 16.

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