Reece Topley targeting another top season for Essex and England

Reece Topley

Reece Topley - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Giant fast-bowler Reece Topley has lofty aims for 2014 – winning promotion with Essex and challenging for full England honours.

The 19-year-old, from Ipswich, finished as the county’s leading wicket-taker in all forms of the game last term, as Essex finished third in Division Two, and also played a pivotal role as the Eagles reached the Friends Life T20 Finals day at Edgbaston.

The 6ft 7ins left-arm seamer, a former Royal Hospital School pupil, is recovering from a lower back injury he sustained on tour with the England Performance Programme in Australia, and hopes coach Paul Grayson’s Essex side can challenge on more than one front.

“If we can take what we did last season into this campaign, I am sure we can have a good season,” said Topley, whose team will play in the re-branded “T20 Blast” and the Royal London One-Day Cup.

“It’s important to get promotion into Division One of the County Championship, and we would like to win at least one trophy this season.

“I don’t see any reason why we can’t be there or thereabouts in the limited overs competitions, having just missed out on qualification for the YB40 (to be replaced by the 50-over One-Day Cup) last season.

“The T20 Finals day was a great day out last year and it is something we would like to be involved in again.”

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Topley took 86 wickets in all cricket last summer and his performances in the domestic game will also be of interest to England’s selectors who regard the teenager as a bright prospect.

“I am back training and back in the gym, following six weeks doing absolutely nothing, which is something I needed,” said Topley, who hopes his return will coincide with the start of the new season.

“For a 19-year-old, I played a lot of cricket last season and I don’t know how many players at that stage of their careers that will have done that.

“It was tough, but I loved every minute of it and I wouldn’t change anything.”

The T20 World Cup begins in March but on the subject on England, Topley added: “I don’t know if I would have been involved.

“All I can do is keep putting in the performances and hopefully my time will come.”