TOM Banton described his England call-up as a "dream come true" following his selection in the T20 squad to tour New Zealand later this year.

Banton was the leading English run scorer in this year's Vitality Blast with 549 - only his Somerset opening partner Babar Azam scored more runs across the competition as a whole.

The 20-year-old has been rewarded with his maiden international call-up and received the news while on his way back from a coffee with his dad in Taunton town centre.

After an emotional phone call with his mum to pass on the news, Banton was later able to reflect on what his selection means to him.

“It’s like a dream come true," he said.

"From a young age everyone wants to play for their country and if I get a chance I will hope to take my opportunity.

“I’d heard a few things and you see bits on social media but you can’t read too much into that. This was the first I’d heard from a selector or anyone else.

“I don’t really know what to say about it at the moment, it hasn’t really sunk in."

Banton paid tribute to Somerset head coach Jason Kerr for allowing him to express himself with the bat, an approach which has paid dividends in some style.

“From the first game, I spoke with Jase and he’s given me the freedom to play how I always have," Banton said.

"It’s always nice knowing you are backed in the changing room and that if you get out in a certain way you won’t get told off when you get back in."

Banton is one of five uncapped players in the T20 squad, along with his county teammate Lewis Gregory, and his winter will not end with an England tour, with "a few more things lined up" in franchise tournaments in the months that follow - for Banton, the world is his oyster.

Gregory, meanwhile, admitted he was surprised to be involved having played seen a foot injury restrict him to four T20 matches for Somerset this summer.

“It was a nice surprise to have," the 27-year-old.

"There are a few fresh faces in there and it’s a great opportunity to put your hand up with a T20 World Cup towards the back end of next year.

“I’ve had a couple of call-ups before and not played but they’ve been one-off games, so it will be nice to be in a touring environment.

“When you get an opportunity in net practice you have to show off and put your name in the hat to be in the XI. There are a few people I know well in the squad so it’s a great opportunity."

The all-rounder was, however, overlooked for the Test squad despite an impressive County Championship season which has seen him take 51 wickets at 15.49.

“My red ball numbers this year have been pretty good so, if anything was going to come, I thought that might have been the place it would," Gregory said.

“It would have been nice to have been picked on the Test tour but it wasn’t to be. I’ve got my opportunity in the T20 format so hopefully I’ll get a game and show what I can do.

“Any opportunity you are given to represent your country is a huge honour."