Unusually for a legspinner, Schofield cuts a gangly figure as he approaches the wicket, partly because of his extra height, partly because of his loose limbs, which seem to have a mind of their own. England's craving for a legspinner meant that he was fast-tracked into the senior side in 2000 - and awarded one of the ECB's first batch of 12 central contracts - after just two seasons in county cricket and one A tour. He didn't get a bowl in his first Test, which was dominated by seam, and although he knocked up a cheeky fifty in his second, his bowling was too wild for the selectors' liking; he returned wicketless to the ranks. With the bat Schofield is an innovative county No. 8, not afraid to use the reverse-sweep or hook the quicks. The road back was a long one, though, and after a dispiriting 2004 season, in which he played only three Championship matches and ten one-day games (he took only one wicket, although he did score some useful runs), he was released by Lancashire, whose manager, Mike Watkinson, stated the obvious when he observed that Schofield "had perhaps not reached his full potential". Undetered, Schofield continued to try to force his way back, playing Minor County cricket for Suffolk as well as occasional appearances for Surrey and Durham 2nd XIs. He was registered by Surrey in August 2006 and impressed enough to be offered a full contract for 2007. An amazing turnaround continued when, after being the leading wicket-taker during the group stages of the 2007 Twenty20 Cup, he was named in England's 15-man squad for the World Championship in South Africa.
Lawrence Booth August 2007