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CURRAN AIMING TO PROVE HIMSELF AT TOP LEVEL

"I want to be able to challenge myself against those top players in the world"

For the average bowler, one domestic final, one overseas tour and one emphatic international debut would likely be considered a season well done aged just 22.

But when it comes to Tom Curran, we are not talking about the average bowler. This is one not willing to stop until he reaches the top.

Starring in his T20 opening salvo against South Africa certainly gave the Surrey bowler the taste of international cricket.

But after touring the West Indies and not getting an ODI appearance back in March, Curran will be relishing a return in England colours.

All being well, Curran’s ODI opportunity will finally come over the next fortnight, set to feature in England’s five-match Royal London ODI Series against – you guessed it – West Indies, starting Tuesday.

While that may come as coincidence for most, for Curran it is the culmination of careful planning months in the making.

“I flew out to the West Indies to join up with the guys before the season and I didn’t get to play, but I always knew these ODIs were coming and that was what I targeted,” he said.

“I was disappointed to miss out in March but it was nice to be a part of that environment and get a taste for it, and I definitely left there hungry.

“I felt very comfortable there, I left wanting more and I knew that if I could keep working and put in those performances then a reward like this may be around the corner.

“I’m just excited, I’ve put in the work and if I get given the go, hopefully I’ll take it with two hands.”

From the outside, a lack of confidence may seem beyond the psyche of the right-armer.

Yet scratch a little deeper and you’ll find Curran desperate and determined in equal measure, still possessing the child-like cheek and charm that saw him wake brother Sam at 7am to break the news of his winter call-up.

If international cricket is anything to go by so far – boasting T20 figures of 3 for 33 and 2 for 22 – then Tom is set to be just fine.

But rather than be overawed or giddy for the big occasion, the Durban-born quick is confident this is the moment he can shine brightest of all, hoping to prove his worth when Chris Gayle and co come to town.

“You want to be playing against the best, I want to be able to challenge myself against those top players in the world and it’s an exciting chance,” he added.

“I’ve been able to do that in the T20s, and that was a relief as much as anything.

“I had a lot of nerves before that day, but once I got out there and started playing, particularly in that second game, I was really able to enjoy the occasion.

“I got a lot from those games and the way I felt about myself, and being able to carry that into the England games made a massive difference.”

Tom Curran was speaking on behalf of Royal London, proud sponsors of One Day cricket, ahead of the upcoming ODI Series v West Indies.

Words by Ross Lawson