Topley eyes up ‘golden opportunity’

July 27, 2023

IPSWICH-BORN bowler Reece Topley said it would be a ‘golden opportunity’ to get some overs under his belt if selected for Surrey versus Suffolk in Sunday’s NCCA Showcase match.

The 29-year-old England international, who is on the comeback trail from injury, could be included in the Surrey team for the 50-overs-a-side match at Woolpit CC, start 11am.

Topley (pictured above) suffered a dislocated right shoulder on his debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore after bowling just two overs in his maiden IPL stint.

He is due to link up with fellow England internationals Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Adil Rashid and Tom Banton at Northern Superchargers for The Hundred which starts next week.

Surrey will not name their side until after the conclusion of their LV= County Championship Division One fixture at Somerset, which is scheduled to finish on Friday.

Topley is eager to press his claims for inclusion in England’s squad for their defence of the forthcoming ICC Men’s World Cup in India at the start of October.

The former Royal Hospital School student said: “It would be a golden opportunity if I play to start my 2023 season following the injury I sustained in the IPL.

“Whilst I was gutted to miss Surrey’s T20 Blast campaign, it does give me the opportunity to potentially bowl eight, nine or ten overs to help me prepare for The Hundred.”

Topley, whose family home is still in Suffolk, enjoyed his stint with RCB, despite his injury, where he was impressed by how hard Indian superstar Virat Kohli works at his game.

In addition to dislocating his shoulder, Topley suffered a hairline fracture of the humerus bone and also damaged his rotator cuff, but the 6ft, 7in tall bowler is now fit to return.

Should he play at Woolpit, it will be his first competitive match in the county since he was a Year 12 schoolboy at RHS in the same season he made his first-team debut at Essex in 2011.

Topley has bowled at Woolpit before; several years ago Tim Parker, who was groundsman at RHS as well as Woolpit CC, allowed him to bowl on the square at his son Will to build up his fitness after one of five stress fracture back injuries he has had during his career.

Will, who now plays for Woolpit 1st XI, also runs sports turf management business Parkers Pitches and has helped to prepare the wicket for Sunday’s match which Surrey will use to prepare for the One Day Cup starting next week.

Surrey’s Director of Cricket Alec Stewart said: “We’re looking forwarding to visiting Woolpit CC this weekend to take on Suffolk.

“This will be an important part of our white-ball preparation for the One Day Cup and an opportunity for the squad to show their skills against a good opposition.”

Photograph: George Franks Photography

Suffolk v Surrey Spectator Guide

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