Josh Tongue will make his Test debut for England tomorrow morning against Ireland at the Lord's Cricket Ground. While it will be a big moment for Tongue, one of his family friends will celebrate the occasion more because he will earn a profit of £49,900 (approximately ₹51 lakh).
According to a report by BBC, Tongue's family friend Tim Piper placed an unlikely bet back in the year 2009 that he would play Test cricket for England. Tongue was just 11 years old at that time. The odds he got at that time were 1-500, and Piper bet £100 that Tongue would play Test cricket for England.
Interestingly, Piper wished to place that bet when Tongue was just six years old. However, he did not find a bookmaker for the same. Speaking with BBC Sport ahead of Tongue's Test debut, Piper said:
"I've kept the bet slip in a cupboard all these years. I just thought to myself 'it must be worth £100'. If he doesn't make it, he'd make us proud anyway. This is just a bonus for him to get in the Test team."
On his way to the England Test team, Tongue has suffered multiple stress fractures. His career almost ended in 2021/22 because of a shoulder injury, but Piper never gave up. He added:
"He had all those injuries, but I never gave up on him," says Piper. "I kept thinking 'maybe it can happen'. These last two weeks have been a mad turnaround."
Josh Tongue started his career as a leg-spinner before switching to right-arm pace
In the same interview, Tim Piper further disclosed that Josh Tongue's father Phil was a coach. Phil played at Redditch Cricket Club, with Tim being his teammate. Josh would visit the club, and during the early phase of his career, he would bowl leg-spin like Shane Warne.
Tongue's family moved away from Redditch when he was six. Piper followed him on his way to Worcestershire and soon placed a bet directly with the head office of gambling firm, Coral.