Ipswich/Holbrook: Essex bowler Reece Topley ready to make a name for himself against England

Reece Topley in action for Essex

Reece Topley in action for Essex - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Reece Topley is ready to show the England cricket selectors just how far he’s come over the next four days.

The Ipswich-born former Royal Hospital School pupil will face the fit-again Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook and co at Chelmsford as Essex host the Three Lions tomorrow in their final warm-up match before the home Ashes series against Australia.

Left-arm fast-bowler Topley – who stands at 6ft 7in – is still only 19, but is already in his third season as a professional and is being tipped for a bright future having represented England at Under-19 and Lions level. And a clutch of wickets in this high-profile four-day friendly – which will put his bowling talents in direct comparison with two of the world’s best in Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad – would certainly see his stock rise another notch.

“All the boys in the squad have been looking forward to this one,” he said. “It’s a chance to show your skills against the country’s best players. This is certainly a great window of opportunity to show how good you are and throw your name out there.

“It’s obviously not a competitive match in the sense of something riding on it, but players on both sides will want to be putting on individual performances to impress. You can’t shy away from any opportunity to get recognition.”

Topley, who has taken 24 wickets for Essex in all formats of the game so far this summer, continued: “My main concern is the County Championship and trying to do everything I can to get us promoted back to Division One.

“If I can take around 50 wickets and end the season as one of the club’s leading wicket takers that would be great – it’s certainly something to aim for. Doing it consistently, week-in, week-out for your club side is the only way that you can progress your international career though.

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“I wasn’t selected for the opening game of the season, so I’m really happy with my progress. I’ve been playing regularly and that’s taken away the pressure of having to do enough every match just to maintain a place.”

– See today’s EADT for full interview.

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