Wright delights in stunning year
Chris Wright admits he could not have anticipated his rapid rise to prominence over the past year.
Released by Essex last summer, Wright was handed a contract by Warwickshire after impressing during a loan stint with the Edgbaston club.
Twelve months on, the 27-year-old seamer now finds himself in the England Performance Programme squad, having taken 62 wickets to help Warwickshire to LV= County Championship glory.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, Wright reflected on his upturn in fortunes.
"I wouldn't have imagined being in this position 12 months ago," he admitted.
"It's a very big turnaround, but I guess hard work pays off.
"I think most people who play cricket see it as their dream to play for England, but having just been released I could honestly say I wasn't thinking remotely of it. It was just a case of getting back with a county and showing that team what I could do.
"To be on the EPP within a year of that - I'm really chuffed with it; it's a great achievement."
Wright's initial success on loan at Warwickshire - he claimed 22 wickets in four first-class appearances, including seven on debut against Yorkshire - proved enough to earn a longer stay in the Midlands.
This proved a significant boost, especially as it ensured Wright would be re-united with Graeme 'Pop' Welch, his old bowling coach at Essex.
"I knew that he was reasonably keen to get me to Warwickshire, although perhaps (director of cricket) Ashley Giles and a few of the other staff had not really seen much of me. I had to show everyone, not just Pop, what I could do.
"Gloucestershire showed interest, but Warwickshire, with Pop there, were always my preferred option.
"I was a little bit nervous when I played my first game at Yorkshire, and aware that it was effectively a trial rather than a loan, but it went really well.
"Fortunately I was going into it with some reasonable form; I had been playing quite well in the Second XI at Essex and it was coming out quite well, so in terms of timing it was quite good. I didn't really have to do anything different."
Wright went on to play a key role in Warwickshire's charge to the championship title, although he is modest enough to acknowledge the significance of events at the start of the season, when fellow seamers Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin were ruled out by injury.
"It was maybe a slight blessing in disguise that Woakesy and Boyd were injured at the start of the year, which meant I got to take the new ball," he conceded.
"I might not necessarily have started. With the squad of bowlers we have got, there was going to be a fair bit of rotation. You can't get 62 wickets unless you play in a lot of games, so in that respect I was quite lucky. But I certainly didn't imagine doing so well."
Full England honours would appear to represent the obvious next step for the paceman to target.
However, Wright is wary of getting carried away and plans to utilise his time with the EPP - in England and India - wisely.
"I don't want to look too far ahead; obviously I've not been in this environment before so I just want to take in as much as I can," he revealed.
"There are a few deliveries that I would like to add to my armoury and India is the perfect place to practice those. I'm just going to try and take it all in, listen as much as I can and work on my skills."