The hard work starts again for ex-Royal Hospital School pupil Reece Topley, at Essex

Reece Topley holds eagle Alaska at the Essex Cricket media day at the cricket grounds in Chelmsford.

Reece Topley holds eagle Alaska at the Essex Cricket media day at the cricket grounds in Chelmsford. - Credit: Su Anderson

Reece Topley knows he will have to rediscover the form he displayed two seasons ago, if he is to catch the eye of England’s selectors again.

The 21-year-old was his county’s leading wicket-taker in all forms of the game in 2013, but has suffered with injury since – a stress fracture in his lower back being picked up ironically on an England Performance Squad tour towards the end of that year.

The former Royal Hospital School pupil is well thought of in England circles thanks to his ability to take wickets with both the red and white ball.

However, he believes it will be a case of going back to the drawing board this summer as he attempts to force his way into England’s plans.

“It’s nice when people mention my name with England but I am not going to be picked on the back of doing nothing,” said Topley.

“If I can keep putting in performances for Essex then hopefully it can come and that’s what I have got to do.

“Some people return after injury and stay a bit hidden and are not really noticed, but I want to be able to pick up where I left off.”

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While some people may consider Topley to be a touch unlucky to suffer such an injury so early on, the 6ft 7ins bowler was revealed he was actually relieved when the setback occurred and explained how the blow and subsequent rehabilitation have all been part of a learning process.

“I was surprised I did not get a stress fracture early and the fact that I didn’t left me wondering whether or not I had cheated the system a bit,” added Topley.

“Then it came and hit me and it made me realise that I was not invincible. It grounded me.

“The injury has given me time to totally rest, which is probably what I needed, and I have just been doing gym work and work in the pool.

“When I return I won’t lack confidence. I know I am capable of being a wicket-taking bowler given the game time, but I might have to rest myself at times this season and I have no issues with that.

“If I can get to October and have remained injury free, then I will be able to say my injury hell is over for the time being.”

Essex begin their County Championship Division Two campaign at home to Kent on April 19 with their first T20 Blast home game set to be against Surrey on Saturday, May 16.

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