We often hear about batsmen putting in the extra hours in the nets to help them get into good nick as the season intensifies – and for Dylan Budge practice has clearly made perfect after 603 fruitful runs in nine days earned him a Scotland call-up.
Budge, 22, admits it would be a dream come true to make a Scotland One Day International debut in Sunday’s showpiece clash with England at the Grange in Edinburgh.
He really left head coach Grant Bradburn no other option but to pick him ahead of the 50-over-a-side match after scoring an amazing total of runs for three different teams at the end of May and the start of this month.
The superb run of form began on Saturday, May 26 when he hit 100 for Mazars Grange against Carlton in the CSL Eastern Premier Division.
An even bigger score, 143, followed two days later for the Eastern Knights before scores of 56, 52 and 65 for Scotland ‘A’ down in Lancashire last midweek.
At the weekend just gone he then hit 48 not out and 139 over two days for Grange to make him one of the in-form player in the country.
Having grown up in Bradford, Budge has been involved with counties like Yorkshire and Durham in the past and has been on Scotland’s radar since 2015.
Having missed most of the 2016 season with Durham due to a hip operation, Budge decided to relocate to the Scottish capital in early 2017.
He began playing for Grange because he knew club player/coach John Blain from his time with Yorkshire and he has loved life with the top flight East outfit.
With his father having been born in Edinburgh, Budge played two non-cap internationals for Scotland against Sri Lanka last May.
A few more injury followed, but he has been waiting patiently for another chance and after a winter away in New Zealand he has really hit the ground running this term.
Having concentrated solely on his batting, he said: “It has been a brilliant spell for me of late, I just took confidence from the first century and went from there.
“There are a lot of players in form at the minute so I knew I needed to score heavily to break into this Scotland squad.
“I have really enjoyed my time in the middle of late and I think it is testament to the standards that we have been setting at Grange, with the Knights and with Scotland ‘A’ that I have been able to do what I have done.
“At this point I must pay tribute to my team mates at Grange and with the Knights because I have loved playing alongside them and when you play the game with a smile on your face you tend to do better as a result.
“With Grange we have a great blend of experienced players and the young ones coming through so there are always people to learn from or others to help along the way.
“We have had a good start to the summer and although last week was busy I just want to play as much cricket as I can.
“I said at the time that I moved up to Scotland early last year with the aim of playing for the country.
“I have been in and around the extended squad for a while, but to now be working towards taking on England is quite surreal, but very exciting.
“The Scotland guys were very disappointed with the way the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe ended up back in March, but training has been great in recent weeks and everyone is buzzing.
“To have the chance to take on England and then Pakistan twice in the same week does not come around often and we want to make the most of it.”
And if Budge does get the nod and is picked by Bradburn to play on Sunday then expect a corner of Yorkshire to be cheering this determined character on as well as all cricket fans north of the border.