FRINTON Cricket Club coach Tony Stubbs believes Ben Foakes would be fully deserving of his England debut, with speculation mounting that the wicketkeeper could be handed the gloves for tomorrow’s Test opener in Sri Lanka.

Former Essex man Foakes, who progressed through the colts system at Ashlyns Road, starting when he was just six, was spotted practicing behind the stumps and working with coach Bruce French during a soggy training session in Galle today.

Jos Buttler, meanwhile, was seen throwing and catching without gloves, suggesting an England debut for Foakes when the First Test gets underway at 4am.

“I’ll be over the moon if it happens,” said long-serving Frinton coach, player and stalwart Stubbs, who has been with the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League side since 1997.

“It will be a magic moment for him and everyone will be so proud at Frinton.

“There’s no doubt he deserves his chance and, in my opinion, he’s been ready for the last couple of years.

“His Test career should be up and running by now.

“He should have been given the gloves last Autumn, when England were being hammered during the Ashes in Australia.

“When we went 3-0 down, I’d have turned to Ben for the last two Test matches in Melbourne and Sydney.

“He didn’t get a chance in New Zealand, either, or during this summer’s Test series against Pakistan and India.

“I thought he’d missed his chance so would love him to play tomorrow.”

England play three Test matches during their tour of Sri Lanka.

And Stubbs hopes that if Colchester-born Foakes, 25, does indeed feature tomorrow, he then gets an extended run in the side, including the other matches in Kandy and Colombo.

“Hopefully if he does get the gloves, he’ll be allowed to keep them because he deserves a run in the side,” he said.

“I’d hate to think of it being a one-off because of Jonny Bairstow’s injury (the Yorkshireman is expected to be fit for the second Test).

“Neither Bairstow or Jos Buttler are specialist wicketkeepers whereas Ben is the best by a county mile. Everyone knows that.

“He couldn’t have done more, having followed the pathway of playing for England’s under-17s, under-19s and the Lions.

"And he took some spectacular catches last season, being a pivotal figure in Surrey's County Championship-winning side."

In addition to keeping wicket, Foakes is poised to bat at number seven.

He has a first-class batting average of 40.64 and last year he was rated as the “best keeper in the world” by his director of cricket at Surrey, Alec Stewart.