Jake Ball's England call-up a slow-burner - Mick Newell

Jake Ball
Jake Ball became a regular in all forms of the game at Nottinghamshire last season

Jake Ball's international call-up has been a "slow burner" and a reward for his dedication, says Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell.

Uncapped seam bowler, 25, Ball has been been named in England's 12-man squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley which starts next Thursday.

Newell told BBC Radio Nottingham: "A lot of people think its come quickly.

"But Jake has been working away diligently through club cricket and into our academy and second team."

Ball, whose uncle is former Notts and England wicketkeeper Bruce French, has taken 19 wickets so far this season and impressed while on England Lions duty in the United Arab Emirates last year.

He made his debut for Notts against the MCC in March 2011 and has played a total of 27 first-class matches, taking 84 wickets at an average of 25.63.

Alex Hales tweet
Fellow Notts player Alex Hales was quick to congratulate his new England colleague Jake Ball

Newell added: "Over the last 15 months he has made huge strides and had a very successful winter with the England A team too.

"I have called Jake a slow-burner in the past. It took him a number of years to really push through. The winter before this one he worked very, very hard in the gym and made himself stronger.

"People noticed he was bowling quicker and added to that he is a very skilful bowler.

"Hard work in the gym and nets has really paid off. He established himself in our side last year in all forms of cricket as a number-one pick and he has kicked on from there again."

Newell said Ball has benefited from being around fellow bowler Stuart Broad, who along with opener Alex Hales, completes a trio of Notts players in the England set-up for the three-match Test series.

Stuart Broad (left) and Jake Ball
Jake Ball has been quick to tap into Stuart Broad's international knowledge

Newell said: "Stuart has been around our team for the last three or four weeks preparing for this Test series, so that has been a great opportunity for Jake to pick his brains, as well as people like Jimmy Anderson and the bowling coach Ottis Gibson.

"Jake's a good learner. He listens and he learns and if things will work for him he takes them on board

"He is in an environment where there is lots of experience and he is someone who will thrive on that.

"He is a very popular lad. He is a lovely kid, very modest, very quiet and with a subtle sense of humour. I am sure he will go well with England."

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