ADAM London will start the new season in the Middlesex first XI following a freak injury to Neil Dexter.
The Sunbury-born 21-year-old steps into the breach for the County Championship curtain raiser away to Worcestershire after team-mate Dexter was ruled out for six weeks because of a cracked vertebrae in his back.
With Owais Shah and Eoin Morgan away at the IPL Dexter’s misfortune creates a massive opportunity for London – one he intends to grab with both hands.
He said: "I was told at the beginning of the season I would be starting in the second XI and would need to make runs there to get me into the first team.
"However, I’ve now been told I’m off to Worcester to be part of the squad. An injury to Dex has created a window of opportunity for somebody and it would be nice if that somebody was me.
"I wish him a speedy recovery, but it would be nice by the time he does get fit if I’d made a few runs and made it hard for him to get back in."
Director of Cricket Angus Fraser confirmed London would bat at number five.
His selection is reward for a couple of eye-catching knocks at the back end of last season, starting with 68 not out on debut at Lord’s against Gloucester.
He then defied the pain of a broken finger to make a gutsy 65 in the last game of the season against Derbyshire at Uxbridge – an innings which rescued Middlesex from the ignominy of their first ever County Championship wooden spoon.
"The innings at Uxbridge is quite big for me even now," added London.
"Hopefully it scored me a few brownie points and shifted me up a bit in the batting rankings for Middlesex."
Joining London in the 12 for Worcester is another of Sunbury’s home grown talents Toby Roland Jones.
The 22-year-old’s inclusion is a big shock, but reward for impressing Fraser in pre-season nets with stints which seem to have shifted him above the likes of Danny Evans and Robbie Williams in the pecking order.
The strong likelihood is he’ll end up on drinks duties with skipper Shaun Udal opting for the balance of Gareth Berg’s all rounder skills at number seven rather than four out and out seamers.
However, Fraser made clear Roland Jones had got onto his radar.
He said: "We saw a bit of Toby last year and liked what we saw. We’ve got stuck into his fitness and he’s come along brilliantly. He’s quite a natural athlete actually and he bowled beautifully throughout pre-season, so he’s there on merit.
"He can hold a bat too which will be useful coming in at eight or nine.
Middlesex 12 for Worcester: Udal (C), Strauss, Newman, Robson, Malan, London, Simpson (W), Berg, Murtagh, Finn, O’Brien, Roland-Jones