England cricket captain Ben Stokes declared last week’s 28 run victory over India as the greatest under his leadership. Lancashire’s Tom Hartley starred with the ball on debut, taking 7-62 including the final three wickets to seal the win.

It has been meteoric rise for the 24-year-old, who as recently as three years ago was representing Ormskirk Cricket Club in the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition.

Playing alongside the orthodox left-armer was opening batsman Alex Rankin. The pair have grown up together in age-group cricket and also both attended Merchant Taylors’ School in Crosby.

Rankin spoke to MerseySport Live about his former classmate’s exploits in test cricket so far and whether it was obvious Hartley was destined for the top from a young age.