Young England batsman Ollie Pope reckons there are similarities between Surrey’s latest crop of stars and Manchester United’s famous Class of ‘92.
Pope, 20, dazzled in the County Championship last season as Surrey won their
first title in 16 years.
Pope was central to Surrey’s glorious season
He only broke into Surrey’s four-day side last summer, but a year later he already has two England Tests to his name after playing in the second and third against India in August.
Fellow brown cap Sam Curran was awarded Man of the Series against the Indians, while Surrey captain and opener Rory Burns earned a debut call-up for England’s winter tour of Sri Lanka.
Pope – like David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt – has proved that you
can win things with kids.
United’s famous Class of ’92
He hopes Surrey will dominate for many years to come, just like that famous United side.
“If we could be like the Class of ’92 that would be pretty cool, they could make a good film on us then!” Pope said.
“We’ve definitely got the players to make us think that way.
“It feels pretty special what we’re going through at the moment. Hopefully it can be [like this] for a good 15 to 20 years.”
Ollie Pope or Paul Scholes?
As a ginger lad, Pope certainly draws comparisons with one particular member of that iconic Red Devils team.
“I definitely played football like one of them! Scholesy, he’s a good footballer, and we’ve got no resemblances other than the way we strike the ball,” Pope joked.
The 20-year-old’s meteoric rise to England’s top order has been remarkable considering he only signed a professional contract with Surrey in 2016.
Pope made his Test debut at Lord’s
Pope, born and raised in Chelsea, admits he can’t quite believe how the last two years of his life have panned out.
“If someone told me at the start of the year that I would’ve played in the second and third Test against India, I wouldn’t have really believed them,” Pope said.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. I had some targets at the start of the year, which was just to start in [Surrey’s] four-day side and keep my place in the four-day side.
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“It wasn’t until I was standing at fourth slip at Lord’s on my debut morning to Jimmy Anderson when it really sunk in.
“I’ve watched these guys for however long now and they’ve been the face of the England side throughout my childhood.”
And perhaps the greatest of those legends, England’s all-time leading run scorer Alastair Cook, gave Pope a special welcome to the international scene.
old made way for the new, Cook took Pope under his wing and passed on various nuggets of wisdom.
Cook made time for Pope before his final Test
“I had dinner with Cooky the night before his final Test, so that’s my claim to fame! It was just me and him,” Pope added.
“It was good to chat to him, see what his thoughts were and talk about cricket and life in general. It’s amazing playing with some of those guys. I feel pretty lucky.
“He sent me a really nice message after his last Test just saying if I ever wanted to pick his brain on anything cricket-related or anything in general, just fire away.
“I don’t think there’s a better batsman to pick the brains of in the country.”
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