It’s a week after Reece Topley broke his finger while fielding during England’s World Cup clash with South Africa and the 29-year-old is back in the gym in south London.
All the way from Mumbai to Clapham, he is convinced that he will not dwell too long on another cruel misfortune.
“It’s a damn feeling.” When I got home, this wave of emotions came over me. The last few days have been tough, especially watching the boys on TV, but what should I do differently?’ Topley tells Mail Sport.
“I have moved on. I’m already thinking about getting fit for the West Indies tour in December. Nobody benefits from standing still. With this positive attitude I will wear the England jersey again sooner.
“As soon as I broke my finger I was already thinking about what my next four weeks would look like and hopefully the time in the Caribbean before the next T20 World Cup would be worth it.”
Reece Topley is focusing on a return to cricket in December after suffering a broken finger
Topley suffered a broken finger in England’s Cricket World Cup loss to South Africa
“I’ve been unlucky, but I’d rather play the game hard than shy away from things,” insists Topley.
Since restoring his status as a regular in England’s white-ball teams last year, Topley’s job has been to play the game hard.
Since the start of 2022, only Adil Rashid (55) and Sam Curran (45) have taken more wickets for England in white-ball cricket than Topley (43). However, both average over 30, while Topley only averages 26 and has the best strike rate of all.
He took eight wickets in the three World Cup games he played, making him currently England’s highest wicket-taker in the tournament despite missing three games, and he says his preparation for England’s T20 World Cup defense next year has begun in the moment he broke his finger at Wankhede Stadium.
“There was no point in me staying. I knew immediately that I was done. My finger bent completely backwards. “I tried to throw another ball after that and got thrown for four,” Topley says.
“The physio looked at it but I knew it was broken. “Then I had to take loads of anesthesia and tie my finger to the other finger to get through the overs and do everything I could for the boys could,” reveals Topley.
Between 2016 and 2020, Topley did not play for England and last year he was ruled out of England’s successful T20 World Cup after twisting his ankle on a boundary marker before the tournament. In many ways it was a bittersweet feeling playing for England in a World Cup where Jos Butter’s side simply weren’t there, losing five of their six games.
“The manner of the defeats is really worrying. “We didn’t go down the way we wanted to play. This team looks nothing like the outfit fans loved. “You win or you learn in sports and it doesn’t look like we’ve learned from those big losses,” Topley said.
He is aiming to return to fitness before England face the West Indies in December
“The message was pretty clear but we didn’t do what we were asked to do. “It’s not a bad team at all. If you didn’t pick this team, who would you pick in their place? “It’s the best 15 in the country, but at a World Cup you can’t have so many players who are out of shape.”
As for himself, his own reaction to knocking over a chair and kicking a box on the way to the locker room after his injury spoke volumes.
“The frustration came from knowing I was going home. I want to continue to develop and be considered one of the best in the world, but I have to play to prove it. Over the last few years I’ve felt like I’m doing well, and you can see that in my posts.
“I’m looking forward to the T20 World Cup next year.” “I want to win a World Cup for England and talk to some of the best bowlers in the world.”
All 11 of England’s squad were aged 30 or over when they beat Sri Lanka and with a changing of the guard expected after this tournament, Topley admits he would relish even more responsibility.
“I haven’t really thought about it much, but as the team changes and people give up their careers, I would like Motty (Matthew Mott) and Jos (Buttler) to give me more responsibility and really a senior role “take over the site,” he says.
“With someone like Gus (Atkinson) for example.” He’s a great friend of mine and I love sharing my knowledge with younger players. “Playing for England in World Cups with one of your closest friends is pretty cool and I would love to bowl with Gus for England for a while.”
With that, Topley’s break from the gym is over and he gets back to work. A trip to California is planned next week, but there is no chance of returning soon. England’s first ODI against West Indies in Antigua will take place in the first week of December.
“Yeah, I’ll stay there,” Topley says. “It’s close enough to the Caribbean so I have to deal with the jet lag I get when I go back and forth.”