Surrey, England U19, South, England Lions, England
Ollie Pope is an up-and-coming wicketkeeper-batsman with all the traits of the modern-day cricketer: innovative, fit, agile, and powerful. The 20-year-old cricketer rose through the ranks of age-group cricket and reached the peak of his powers in the 2017 season for Surrey, excelling with the bat in all three formats. In the era of the shorter formats, Pope's intelligent batting in T20 has been lauded all over the English circuit. Despite the eye-catching feats in the shorter, glitzier formats, Pope has a solid base technique which has been exhibited in the county championship with buckets of runs against the red ball and a perfect trigger movement which has made him a rather assured player against the moving ball. Pope signed a two-year contract with Surrey in August 2016. He played his first county game against Middlesex at The Oval, the first time that Surrey had fielded 4 teenagers in a Championship game since the Second World War. His first hundred in county cricket came in his third game against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. A well-built young lad, with ample upper-body strength, Pope is quick to pick up length and is known for his horizontal-batted shots. In context this was a particularly good innings, given that Hampshire were on the verge of a victory only for Pope to stand in the way and deny them one on the final day. He made his List A debut in 2016, playing in the all-important Royal London Cup semi-final, where he was part of the winning side that contained 5 specialist keepers - naturally, he didn't don the gloves. He didn't make an impression with the bat, or at least the scoreboard won't reflect it, but Pope managed to show decent temperament in the context of the game to score a few quick runs at the death which ensured his place in the side for the final. Pope made his Twenty20 debut for Surrey in the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast on 7th July 2017 and has done well down the order with some pinch-hitting, although he might want to make amends to his relatively low strike-rate, which he has started to do of late. Pope's consistency and the fetish of the England team management to blood youngsters meant he received a call-up during the home season of 2018, against the touring Indian team. Having batted at number six for Surrey right through, Pope was asked to bat at four on his debut at Lord's, a task which seemed beyond his ability. Two Tests later, he found himself out of the team, but was always in the horizon as the elegant right-hander was named in England's Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in late 2019.