By Jon Couch
Sam Curran says mixing it with the T20 big boys has given him a fresh incentive to become an England big-hitter of the future.
The 19-year-old gained a valuable taste of what was required to compete with the elite this winter after being called up to England’s T20 squad for the recent tri-series with Australia and New Zealand, alongside his elder brother Tom.
Curran didn’t make it into Trevor Bayliss’ starting XI Down Under but the experience of netting with the likes of Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan has clearly had an effect on the Surrey all-rounder after flying out to join the England Lions squad in a 50-over series against West Indies A.
After the Lions lost all three red-ball games to the same opposition, Curran headlined a number of new arrivals for the three-match series and made an explosive start, smashing 119 from 96 balls as the Lions crushed an Antigua XI by 246 runs at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
“The tour to New Zealand with the T20 boys was really good for me,” Curran told The Cricket Paper. “Being around the likes of Stokes and Morgan, guys who I grew up watching, was a great experience and having the likes of Tom and [Surrey team-mate] Jason Roy helped me settle and feel part of the group.
“I really enjoyed playing for the Auckland Aces, too, and feel I’ve come over to the West Indies having learned a lot from that environment and with something to work towards for the future.
“It was great to get off to a new start with the bat after the boys endured a tough four-day series, it’s just a shame we couldn’t start the series off with a win.”