Reece Topley ready for England challenge in Australia

Reece Topley

Reece Topley - Credit: Archant

Essex paceman Reece Topley is aiming to cap a memorable season by catching the eye of England’s selectors in Australia this winter.

The Ipswich-born, former Royal Hospital School pupil has been selected for the England Performance Programme (EPP) which jets off Down Under in November as the senior side prepare to defend the Ashes.

The 19-year-old will be joined by Essex team-mates Ben Foakes and Mildenhall’s Tymal Mills and faces two three-day games against second XI teams from Queensland and Western Australia.

It will be Topley’s third trip to Oz and Essex’s Bowler of the Year, who recorded career-best figures of 11 for 85 in his county’s win against Worcestershire earlier this month, is relishing the prospect.

“September has been a really good month for my career and to have been selected for the EPP is fantastic,” said Topley, who was the highest wicket-taker at last year’s Under-19s World Cup.

“It will be a great experience, as was the under-19s World Cup which went well for me and the Lions Tour at the start of this year which wasn’t so good.

“There is always an opportunity to impress. In the past, selectors would use seasoned statistics as barometers, but potential and attitude all come into the mix now.”

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The trip will enable Topley and the rest of the EPP squad to be in and around the senior squad ahead of the Ashes series which begins on November 21.

The 6ft 7ins bowler knows that an impressive performance in the Southern Hemisphere could see his career scale new heights.

“It looks like we will be around the England boys for the First Test in Brisbane and the third Test in Perth,” said Topley, son of former Essex bowler, Don.

“It will be nice to get the chance to work hard on my fitness, strength and conditioning with the sun on my back.

“I probably also need to work on my batting this winter to enable me to move up the order.

He added: “I always enjoy bowling in Australia with my pace and bounce. Being a left-arm swing bowler probably enables a greater diversity in my deliveries and being six-foot seven too makes it more awk-ward for the batsmen.”

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