STEVEN FINN admits any school report on his first season for Middlesex last year would have read 'must do better'
So imagine his surprise when he was called up last week by the MCC for the traditional curtain-raiser against County Champions Durham, only to have to pull out because of injury.
The Panthers' pace-man was quietly going through pre-season with his team-mates at Shenley, when he got the text from National Academy Director David Parsons to join a squad including former skipper Michael Vaughan and five other full internationals.
Ths was despite the former England U19 player taking just 25 wickets at over 40 runs apiece in county cricket in 2008.
Contrast that to the previous summer when he took 15 wickets in four Tests and a stack of one-day wickets for England's U19s.
He said: "The call-up was a big surprise to me, especially as last season didn't go as well as I hoped.
"I was disappointed with last season where I didn't live up to all the hype surrounding me because of my wickets for the U19s the previous year.
"I don't see it as necessarily an indication I'm in the fold for an England call-up, so it's important I don't get too far ahead of myself.
"I feel I need to get a lot of wickets for Middlesex before I can even be selected for the England Lions (England A)."
Now 20, the Arctic Monkeys fan insists he has matured a lot over the winter.
"Last season I probably didn't understand my game well enough, so was probably a bit premature in that sense.
"It was a case of getting used to playing county cricket. It's a long hard season - almost a slog. There's stuff both behind the scenes and on the pitch I can do better this year."
Meanwhile, Owais Shah, Eoin Morgan and Middlesex skipper Shaun Udal were all named in the provisional 30-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament to be held in England from June 1.
All three were pivotal to the county's triumph in the domestic Twenty20 last summer, and Morgan is one of five uncapped players hoping to make the cut when the squad is reduced to 15 early next month.
However, for cricket's romantics the selection of Udal at the age of 40 is what catches the eye.
"Shaggy" turned down the chance to make a financial killing earlier this year when he spurned an invite to be part of the IPL auction, stressing his commitment to the captain's role at Lord's. The lure of playing for his country again more than three years after his last Test cap may be harder to resist.