Former Hampshire fast bowler Reece Topley handed chance to resurrect his international career after a four-wait absence

Former Hampshire fast bowler Reece Topley has been handed a chance to resurrect his international career.
Reece Topley bowls during a England one-day squad warm up match at The Ageas Bowl last Friday. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for ECB.Reece Topley bowls during a England one-day squad warm up match at The Ageas Bowl last Friday. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for ECB.
Reece Topley bowls during a England one-day squad warm up match at The Ageas Bowl last Friday. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for ECB.

The 26-year-old left-arm seamer has been named in a 14-man squad for England’s three-match ODI series against Ireland at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl starting this Thursday.

Topley earned the last of his 10 ODI caps in February 2016 and has since endured horrendous injury problems.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They include four stress fractures in his back - two separate breaks that have subsequently recurred.

Topley left Essex at the end of the 2015 season to join Hampshire, having made his ODI debut for England shortly before the end of the domestic fixture list.

He picked up a stress fracture injury on his Championship debut for Hampshire in April 2016 that was to rule him out of the rest of the season.

He only played two further Championship games for Hampshire, in early 2017, before leaving the county the following year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He made his first class return - after an absence of over two years - last September when he played two Championship matches for Sussex. After the season finished he joined Surrey on a two-year white ball contract.

Topley has not played a competitive List A game since appearing for England Lions in July 2018.

David Willey has also returned to England's one-day squad for the first time since missing out on a World Cup place.

The Yorkshire player missed out on that experience despite 46 appearances in the four-year cycle between tournaments - sacrificed in favour of the newly available Jofra Archer, who went on to play such a key role during the competition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That looked like it might be the end of his international career, but he now has the chance to revive it with the nature of the current fixture schedule forcing the selectors to pick entirely separate red and white-ball sides.

Somerset's explosive batsman Tom Banton has an opportunity to make his case in an otherwise experienced top order line-up which is led by Morgan and senior men Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali.

Hampshire’s James Vince will also be looking for a place after his unbeaten 66 for the Lions against Ireland on Sunday.

There is no place for Sussex prospect Phil Salt, though, despite a 58-ball century against Ireland, and pace pair Tom Helm and Henry Brookes must also wait for their chance despite impressing with three wickets apiece in that warm-up outing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The series against Ireland is the first to count towards the International Cricket Council's new Cricket World Cup Super League ranking system.

Featuring 13 teams - the 12 ICC Full Members, plus the Netherlands, who qualified by winning the ICC World Cricket Super League 2015-17 - the Super League will determine qualification for the 2023 World Cup, with the top seven teams automatically booking their spot at the tournament in India.

The competition was scheduled to begin in May before the opening match - originally between Ireland and Bangladesh - was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Each of the 13 sides will play four home and four away series.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Morgan said: ‘We're looking forward to playing cricket again. Given the situation, it will be quite different to the last time we played at home, when we lifted the World Cup at Lord's, but it's nice to be starting our journey for the next edition of the tournament.

‘I'm sure cricket fans all over the world will be excited to see white-ball cricket resume and we're looking forward to the challenge.

‘Ireland are a talented team who have shown over the years that they can beat the best on their day. We look forward to what promises to be an interesting series.’

England squad to face Ireland: E Morgan (c), M Ali, J Bairstow, T Banton, S Billings, T Curran, L Dawson, J Denly, S Mahmood, A Rashid, J Roy, R Topley, J Vince, D Willey.