Danny buoyed: Briggs’ return after eight years proves hope need never be lost

There’s always hope. It may be Bob Hope, Shai Hope or no Hope, but hope nonetheless.

Danny Briggs may well have thought all hope of another England call-up had long gone. After all, the left-arm spinner, who signed a three-year contract with Warwickshire after four years at Sussex at the end of last summer, last played for England in 2014, his eight games for his country – one ODI and seven T20Is.

And how did that go for Danny? Well on the upside he wasn’t out, but spent his only over at the crease, England’s 20th, watching from the non-striker’s end as Ravi Bopara got the “close but no cigar” award and England fell to a 13-run defeat. Earlier efforts with the ball had netted no wickets for 53 as Cameron White and Aaron Finch blasted Australia to 213.

No, runs, no wickets. Thanks for coming Danny, don’t call us…

But, it’s not over until it’s over and Danny may yet have a chance to do it all over again, having been put on standby for England’s upcoming ODI and T20I series against India.

Let’s not forget he is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the T20 Blast with 172 wickets a decent strike rate of 17 and economy rate of 7.16 per over. For the record Samit Patel is second on that list, but damn it, Samit, there really might be no hope there for a man who seems only to bowl for Nottinghamshire now but opens the batting in the Lanka Premier League.

Briggs is also fresh from a very decent Big Bash, taking 11 wickets for the Adelaide Strikers.

“Never say never again”, said a 52-year-old Sean Connery to his wife before returning one last time as James Bond. Danny will be hoping, that at 29 he’ll be the man with the golden arm in India.

But as one door opens, another may be closing, temporarily at least. Poor Will Pucovski impressed in his only Test, making an assured 63 against India at the SCG earlier this year.

Sadly though, diving for a ball in the field, he dislocated the shoulder of his throwing arm and was ruled out of the fourth Test at the Gabba. Hopes that he would soon be back in the fray have been dashed. It’s especially sad for Will, as his path to that Test debut had been a rocky one, with two bad concussions and mental health issues. On one occasion he made 243 against Western Australia in Perth but later said he had little recollection of it.

But if Will wants inspiration, he can look to his Victoria coach, the nuggety Chris (Buck) Rogers, a man discarded by Australia after his test debut, only to return like Rocky nearly six years later at the age of 36. Don’t despair Will – every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.