Tom Curran 'overwhelmed with emotion' after Ashes call-up as race hots up for fourth seamer spot

Scyld Berry
Tom Curran has joined up with the England squad - Getty Images AsiaPac

Tom Curran, after arriving in Adelaide to replace Steven Finn, said he had been “overwhelmed with emotion” when, having missed two calls on his mobile, he found he had been called up to England’s Ashes squad.

Curran, 22, having been born in Cape Town, was spotted when a schoolboy by Surrey as a waspish seamer, much like his father Kevin Curran, an all-rounder for Zimbabwe, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.

Last summer, Curran represented England in three T20 internationals, impressing with his lively pace, good temperament and white-ball skills, and a one-day international against West Indies. White-ball internationals have become the normal path into the England Test team but Curran admitted: “The Ashes has happened a lot quicker than expected.”

Curran is expected to go straight into England’s third and last warm-up game in Townsville, starting on Wednesday, and audition for the role of fourth seamer behind James Anderson, who has been formally appointed vice-captain, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.

Jake Ball was in pole position for the fourth seamer’s place until his right ankle buckled beneath him in England’s second warm-up game and he went for a scan after the initial diagnosis of a sprain. If Ball is unfit for the first Test on November 23, the Townsville game will be a shoot-out between Curran and the only other fit seamer left in England’s squad, Craig Overton.

Although Overton was selected in the original squad, Curran may have an advantage in his experience of bowling at the Oval, often the English ground that comes closest to Australian conditions. Curran said he had learned there was “little margin for error” when using the old ball there, putting a premium on accuracy, and hoped to find a bit more bounce in Australia.

Curran added on Test Match Special: "This is as big as it gets.

"Being involved in an Ashes series is what I have dreamed of since I was a kid and it's a great opportunity for me... I can't wait to get amongst it. It's a very proud day for both myself and my family.

"I was having a little sleep, woke up to two missed calls - and there's been a lot happening since then.

Tom Curran has enjoyed success with England at white-ball cricket Credit: PA

"I was supposed to be going to the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa - so when that got cancelled I pretty much had some time to train in England before coming out here to play in the Big Bash.

"It looks like the Big Bash is off for me now. Playing in that would have been a great experience, but it doesn't get bigger than playing in an Ashes series."

An England spokesman added they might call up yet another seamer if Ball’s scan indicates that he will be out for some time. Liam Plunkett is currently playing in Bangladesh’s T20 competition, while younger pace bowlers will arrive in Brisbane next week with the Lions shadow squad.

England's Ashes schedule | Fixtures, dates and times
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