Delight for Essex’s Reece Topley as Ipswich-born bowler gets England T20 call

Reece Topley

Reece Topley - Credit: PA

Fast bowler Reece Topley is today celebrating the latest milestone in his fledgling career, a full England call-up.

The 21-year-old Essex paceman and former Royal Hospital School pupil has been selected in a 13-man squad that will host New Zealand in the Natwest International T20 game at Old Trafford, in Manchester, next Tuesday.

Topley is one of five players picked yet to have played a T20 international and he will be hoping to impress, with selectors keeping one eye of the future and the World T20 in India, this winter.

Speaking ahead of Essex’s T20 game at Kent yesterday, Topley said: “I am full of elation, I have known for a couple of days and it’s been hard to keep it all in.

“It’s a massive opportunity for me but I am well aware that it is just another step on the ladder.

“Playing in India, with the bowling variations, would suit me, but at the moment I just have to concentrate on what’s in front of me.”

Topley, a prolific wicket taker for his county since bursting on to the scene as a teenager, has battled back from a back injury that saw him miss the England Lions’ tour to Sri Lanka in 2014.

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Now, back to fitness, Essex’s leading wicket-taker in all forms of the game in 2013, is determined to make the most of his opportunity.

“I had a very good year a couple of years ago and I went away with England (Performance Squad) and picked up a stress fracture in my back,” he added.

“That is pretty much the only injury I have had and now it’s cleared up, I feel like I’m in decent nick.

“I would like to thank so many people, from my family and friends, the coaching staff and players at Essex and the club’s strength and conditioning team who have worked tirelessly with me to get me back on the pitch.

“Shaun Tait (Australia bowler) also had a massive impact on me two years ago and I felt I learned lots from him.”

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