Amjad's epic journey could end happily in Caribbean Test debut

For Amjad Khan, being asked to hurriedly leave New Zealand - having barely had time to recover from jet lag - in order to fly to the Caribbean is just the latest leg of a remarkably complex journey towards a Test debut.

The Kent fast bowler was today summoned to join the senior England tour, along with Ravi Bopara, as cover for the injured Andrew Flintoff. The 28-year-old has only been in New Zealand with the Lions squad since the weekend, but he will depart promptly with a view to joining Andrew Strauss and Co in Barbados ahead of the fourth Test against the West Indies.

In the frame: Amjad Khan

In the frame: Amjad Khan

There, Amjad will hope to impress enough in practice and possibly in the forthcoming two-day tour match, to put himself in the frame to play if Flintoff's hip rules him out of contention. In that event, he will become the first Dane to represent England, having been born in Copenhagen to Pakistani parents.

Trips to his family's homeland fostered an early interest in cricket but his real introduction to the game came about entirely by chance. Aged six, Amjad was on his way to football practice when he saw some boys playing cricket - hardly a common sight in Denmark - and asked to join in. The rest, as they say, is history.

Yet, his introduction to the professional game was equally fortuitous. Back in 2001, Kent's then-coach, Kiwi John Wright, was urged to take a look at young Amjad by a friend from his days playing at Derbyshire, Danish seamer Ole Mortensen. He brought him to England and in his first full season, the fast bowler took 63 championship wickets.

However, Amjad had already made an impact on behalf of the land of his birth. In 1998 he became the youngest player to be selected to play for Denmark, aged 17, and in his second match he took 3-34 against Scotland in the European Championships. A year later, he opened the bowling against a Kent Cricket Board XI in the NatWest Trophy and claimed figures of 2-38.

By 2006, he had rattled enough batsmen with his prodigious pace and reverse-swing threat that - having been granted British citizenship, he was selected in the national academy squad. At that point though, the roof fell in.

Amjad was at Denis Lillee's renowned MRF pace academy in Chennai when he suffered a savage cruciate ligament knee injury and was forced to return home from the 'A' team tour of Bangladesh for surgery. He missed the entire 2007 season and last summer Kent cautiously eased him back into action. Yet, in just six championship matches he claimed 21 wickets at 20.61 apiece.

He soon made enough of an impression to earn a place in the Performance Programme squad bound for India, only to be diverted to the senior England tour during the one-day series. After returning to the UK as a result of the Mumbai terrorist atrocities, Amjad was taken back out to India, via the Abu Dhabi holding camp, to offer seam-bowling support in the Test squad.

There was no debut for him in Mohali, but perhaps the epic journey to Barbados will bring that ultimate reward.