Former Essex bowler Reece Topley targets Test milestone with England

Reece Topley

Reece Topley - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ipswich seamer Reece Topley wants to become the first left-arm fast bowler to take a century of Test wickets for England, as he targets a prolific few months on the international stage.

The former Royal Hospital school pupil goes on tour with the England senior team for their One-Day and T20 internationals against Pakistan, in UAE, next month.

He hopes to impress sufficiently to then go on with England for their winter tour of South Africa, between December 11 and February 21, before aiming to be in contention for March’s T20 World Cup in India.

Should he feature in India, he will likely miss pre-season with new county, Hampshire, the 21-year-old having joined the Division One club from Essex at the end of the season.

“I am not match-fit but that will come with playing, but I am fresh as I played one-day cricket, but only two County Championship games for Essex last season,” said Topley.

“It’s a massive winter for me and I want to impress as much as I can and hopefully get on the tour to South Africa after Christmas.

“If things go my way, I will have my eyes on the T20 World Cup, which, if selected, would probably mean that I’d miss pre-season with Hampshire, but if ever there was a reason to do that, then playing in a World Cup is it.

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“Playing Division One cricket is my ultimate goal and playing Test cricket would be living the dream for me.

“I want to take one-hundred Test wickets, no left-arm fast bowler has ever done that, and I have got a foot in the door. Hopefully I can take a lot of wickets next year, bowl really well, and show people that I am not just about white-ball cricket.”

Topley made his Twenty20 International debut against Australia in August and his One Day International debut, also against Australia, last month.

He finished the 2012 Under-19 World Cup as the tournament’s top wicket-taker, but is desperate to become a household international name in the longer form of the game.

“I started with the red ball and then I had a few seasons just with the white ball and I did well at the under-19 World Cup,” he explained.

“I am still just as good with the red ball, it’s just that the white ball has caught up.

“People will probably say that I have got a good slower ball and that I am all about variations.

“Without variations, I would still say I have got good line and length and I am still averaging just 25 in four-day cricket.

“I can still do it in the longer form of the game.”

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