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01st Jun 2023

Landlord will win £50k if Josh Tongue plays cricket for England today

Jack Peat

The pub owner saw his potential aged just six

A landlord will win £50k if Josh Tongue plays cricket for England today – after putting £100 on him when he was 11.

Tim Piper, 56, is friends with the Worcestershire fast bowler’s family.

Seeing his potential aged just six, he tried then to back Tongue to play Test cricket for England.

Tim, who runs the Cricketers Arms pub in Redditch, Worcs., was told no.

But five years later he lumped £100 on at 500/1 with Coral – meaning he will win £50,000 if Tongue walks out against Ireland today (1/6).


The 25-year-old has been picked in the starting side and looks set to earn his first Test cap.

Tim – a family friend who used to play cricket with Tongue’s dad – says the debutant “has done so well” to make the team.

He’s planning to use some of his winnings on a trip to the Caribbean, as well as following the England squad on tour if Tongue remains in the team.

Tim said: “A couple of mates phoned me and said I should watch Sky Sports because he’s playing.

“I always thought they announced it on the day but I saw that he was playing! It’s wonderful.

“His dad phoned me up last night and Josh nearly retired 12 months ago because of injury.

“He was touch and go thinking of calling it a day and 12 months later here he is playing for England.

“Of course I’m not going to play down £50k but it’s just such a wonderful story in itself.

“When he was younger he started to get better and better, batting with pace and getting better with bowling.

“I thought it’d be silly not to bet £100 on him at 500/1 and now 14 years later here we are – it’s gone by so fast.”

Tim was so confident in Josh’s ability that he had initially tried to place a bet on the cricketer when he was just six.

He said: “I phoned up the bookies when he was six but they didn’t take it seriously – I’m not sure why.

“He was already playing at Worcester County at the age of six.

“I used to go and see him in the garden playing with his dad when he just a year old and then when he was two or three he was playing in the nets and he knew how to bowl properly with leg-spin, top-spin and everything.

“But he got even better and by the time he was 11 I was able to place a bet on at 500/1 at Coral.”

The landlord says he knew Josh just need a “little break” to get in the England squad.

He added: “He was in the England U-19s before going on the lions tour to Sri Lanka with the B team and I thought it wasn’t far off.

“He started this season getting Steven Smith out, arguably the best Australian batter in the world.

“I was just thinking that he needed that one little break and it’s come.”

Tim says he’ll be watching the Test match in his pub on the days that he can’t make it to Lord’s.

And he has promised to take Tongue and his family out for a meal after the match.

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