Suffolk cricket star Reece Topley picked for first England tour as Monty Panesar released by Essex
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Rising Suffolk cricket star Reece Topley has been selected in England’s limited overs squads for the upcoming series with Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
The 21-year-old pace bowler, a former pupil at Royal Hospital School, is included in both the One-Day and T2O squads for next month’s tour.
Topley played in the victorious NatWest T20 side that defeated Australia, in Cardiff, by five runs and then, last Sunday, made his debut for the England 50 over side in the Royal London One Day Series in which Australia clinched the series 3-2.
And the 6ft 7ins star spoke of his pride at the call-up last night.
“I received the phone call from James Whitaker (Chairman of Selectors) on the way back from Old Trafford and I am really so pleased and proud to be selected for my first full England tour,” he said.
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“It has been an absolute whirlwind month making both those white ball debuts and I really cannot wait to continue this journey – I keep pinching myself!”
Topley, who has played for Essex since the age of nine, started netting with England internationals at the age of 15 and has said he hopes to progress to the Test squad.
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He recently turned down a new contract at the County Ground in favour of a move to Hampshire next season.
He added: “I shall be very sad to leave Essex but I feel the time is right for a change of environment which will assist me in becoming the best I can possibly be.
“I hope to leave Essex amicably as I, and my family have been associated with the club for years - I have hugely enjoyed my five seasons with Essex in a fantastic dressing room.
“It’s a shame we haven’t got any silverware but the players, coaching and medical staff have been massively influential to me and I thank them all.”
-Former England spinner Monty Panesar is one of four players to have been released by Essex.
The 33-year-old joins Saf Imtiaz, Matt Salisbury and Greg Smith in leaving the Chelmsford club. He took his 700th first-class wicket earlier this season, but his release from Essex represents another challenge for him to face.
Once England’s first-choice spinner – he has 167 wickets in 50 Tests – he ran into off-the-field troubles in 2013 and ended up leaving Sussex to join Essex on loan.
He must now look for what would be a fourth county – he started his career with Northamptonshire - and England’s selection of Ansari for the forthcoming tour of the UAE shows how far down the national pecking order he has fallen. He made the last of his half-century of Test appearances on the ill-fated Ashes Tour of 2013, taking a solitary wicket, and since then has seen the likes of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and now Ansari overtake him in England’s thoughts.