Reece Topley having the time of his life with England cricket team

Reece Topley

Reece Topley - Credit: Archant

Reece Topley is targeting a prized spot in the England squad for next year’s World T20 tournament in India.

The Ipswich-born left-arm fast bowler has made a big impression with the country’s limited overs squad in four one-day games against Pakistan, and is likely to start the first of three T20 games against the same opponents, in Dubai, tomorrow.

Former Royal Hospital schoolboy Topley, 21, helped England to a 3-1 series win against Pakistan last week and now looks set to be a key part of his country’s World Twenty20 ambitions in March next year.

“Being a 21-year-old, this is the time of my life – I feel very proud and privileged to be where I am, and I’ve been surprised to play the way I have,” Topley told the ECB website.

“Last year I had a stress fracture and spent a long time on the sidelines, so to get in the World Twenty20 squad would be amazing.

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“A year ago I wouldn’t have said that was possible – but now I’m involved in this series, everyone in that squad will have one eye on the World Cup coming up.”

Topley has played just one T20 game for England, in the victory against Australia in August, and is full of praise for the role played by head coach Trevor Bayliss.

“Trevor is a great coach and he’s a great man – brilliant to talk to about cricket and great off the field, because he’s had a lot more life experience than I’ve had,” the youngster, who was last week hailed by former Essex coach, Paul Grayson, added.

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On his potential as a future star for England in both formats of the game, Topley said he would have to maintain the high standards he has displayed during his fledgling professional career: “England have been asking for left-armers for a while now, because there’s been an absence of one in the team,” he said.

“I saw an opportunity, (and) realised I could take it.

“Whether you are a left-armer or right-armer, what matters is performances and contributing to the team.

“You don’t just get in because you are a left-armer – you need to bowl tightly or be a wicket-taking bowler.”

England’s second game against Pakistan is in Dubai, on Friday, before they finish Sharjah on November 30.

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