YORKSHIRE'S Liam Plunkett has described his shock at being recalled to England's Test squad after a seven-year absence.
The 29-year-old Middlesbrough fast bowler's last of his nine Tests came against the West Indies at Old Trafford in June 2007, with a loss in form prompting a move from Durham at the end of 2012.
Plunkett has also hailed the faith shown in him by his Yorkshire coaches and team-mates after his inclusion in a 12-man squad for next Thursday's first of two Tests against Sri Lanka at Lord's.
Yorkshire colleagues Gary Ballance and Joe Root have also been included.
"The selection did come as a shock," said Plunkett, who has bowled some devastatingly quick spells this summer on the way to 24 LV= County Championship wickets from seven matches.
"I was aware of all the talk over the past couple of weeks from pundits and the media that I would be in the frame, but I didn't really believe in that.
"I was on my way back from Tim Bresnan's Benefit golf day (Wednesday) when I got the call, and it felt good.
"I have to thank the coaches and players at Yorkshire for having faith in me as a cricketer. Before joining, I was going nowhere. Coming to Headingley gave me a new lease of life.
"I have benefitted from a change in scenery and from a coaching staff that has put faith in my ability. Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) and Frog (Martyn Moxon) gave me confidence to believe in my ability to go out and perform.
"I owe it to them for this return to the Test team. When I joined Yorkshire, I set myself an attainable goal of breaking into the Test team. I knew that if I could stay fit, I could force my way into the squad. I feel fitter than ever."
Plunkett's venom will be a big loss to Yorkshire, who are back in Championship action against Nottinghamshire at Headingley on Sunday. Rich Pyrah is expected to take his place.
"This season, I'm confident that Liam's been the quickest consistently, and there are some good fast bowlers going around," added White Rose coach Gillespie. "From what I've seen, I think he's bowling as fast as anyone.
"He's got absolute clarity of his role. His role is to run in and bowl fast for us, to run in and hit the track hard and not worry about how many runs he goes for."