Congratulations to Toby Roland-Jones on achieving the lifelong dream of any sportsman, that of representing his country. Toby’s debut was at Lords last week against South Africa scoring 37 not out and taking the wicket of Hashim Amla, the fastest player to 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals.
Toby started his playing career at Sunbury Cricket Club at a very early age, when only 4 years old. It seems that being taken along to watch older brother Ollie progressing through the Grasshoppers gave him an early start on the Sunbury colts’ ladder. From Grasshoppers he progressed into age group cricket for both Sunbury and Middlesex where he was principally recognised as an outstanding batting talent. With father Russell Roland-Jones also more than playing his part as a Sunbury and Middlesex colts coach it was something of a family journey. Toby holds many junior club and county records, particularly with the bat.
Toby played in the MCC Universities cricket structure representing Leeds/Bradford MCCU where he was a leading member of the XI which won the 2009 MCCU championship. After university Toby soon found another cricketing gear and was picked up by Middlesex in a hectic summer which saw him having trials with other counties, including matches for Surrey 2nd XI.
Thus we saw all too little of Toby as an adult player but when he did play he very much made his mark for the Club. He also made his mark on our opposition being once described as the ‘metronomic Roland-Jones’ in a match report by arch rivals Reigate Priory.
Toby has also trained with, played for and captained the England Lions. Toby already has a very impressive first class record, including his a hat-trick in the final match of the season against Yorkshire to win the county championship with Middlesex in 2016. He was also called up to the England squad for the 2016 Test match at Lord’s against Pakistan, though he was not in the selected XI. Toby also enjoys the prestige of being named one of the five Cricketers of the Year in the 2017 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
There has been a clear career progression – we wish Toby the very best for the future and hope to see him wearing an England shirt again soon.