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ILT20 : Would love to get back to England team, but it’s not my focus for now : Tom Curran

Dubai : England all-rounder Tom Curran, who is part of the Desert Vipers team for the inaugural ILT20, has said that he would love to get back to the international cricket but it’s not his focus for now as cricketer just wants to get back playing at the moment and enjoy and being happy in his life.

Apart from Curran, the star-studded Desert Vipers team includes players like Sam Billings, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Tymal Mills, and Sheldon Cottrell and others.

South Africa-born English all-rounder was the first international on the Desert Vipers squad to make a Dubai landing and having taken the winter off, he is refreshed and ready for the tournament to be held in the UAE from January 13.

“I had a bit of time off over Christmas. All the training over in England at the moment is indoors, so I thought it (arriving early) just gave me a nice ten day build up to the tournament, where I can get my work done and I am not rushing.

(Getting here early was) just to have a nice steady build up in my preparation,” Curran told the Vipers Voices podcast. Curran has been hugely successful at the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League over several years and is the fourth highest wicket-taker among overseas bowlers in the history of that competition.

The all-rounder has also played T20 cricket in South Africa previously, but he said the decision to play in the ILT20 was a simple one. “(I had) a few reasons (for choosing the DP World ILT20).

Moods (Tom Moody, the Desert Vipers Director of Cricket) was one, and James Foster, who I have worked with previously and I really loved how he goes about his work. To play under him will be great,” he said.

“I have enjoyed my time in Dubai previously as it is a nice place to play. It all felt right. It was a good time for me, and I am really excited for this journey,” he added.

The 27-year old has played two Tests, 28 ODIs and 30 T20Is for England but he unfortunately suffered a lower back injury during the previous edition of the Big Bash League in late 2021, which ruled him out of action in the early part of 2022.

He has not played international cricket since July 2021. On that basis, the ILT20 could be a vehicle for him to return to the big stage but Curran played down that suggestion.

“Getting back (to international cricket) is something I would love to do, but it is not my focus. I want to get back playing at the moment and enjoying and being happy in my life,” said the England all-rounder.

“I think all tournaments will be good shop windows (for me in front of the England selectors) but, for me, it is just about playing. The group of players, the location. We are setting up camp in one hotel, which is quite a big thing.

I don’t enjoy flying around and living out of suitcases, so this was just the best option for me,” he added. The questions about his younger brother Sam Curran, (a star in England’s ICC T20 World Cup winning campaign last year as well as topping headlines for his top-value sale at the IPL auction) are inevitable.

But when asked about whether it was an advantage for him that Sam was in the limelight as it allowed him (Tom) to fly under the radar, he rushed to his little brother’s defense. “People will have a lot of opinions on a lot of things, to be honest.

Sam deserves it (his success), he has had a great few years, so he deserves all the accolades and awards and the pay cheques. I don’t think it is a comparison thing. Like I said I have had a break now, and I am looking forward to getting back playing now,” he said.

Curran is rated highly as a wicket-taking bowler, and he believes he can contribute to all three phases of the bowling innings, especially the death overs. “It is something I have done for years now, and it has not always gone amazingly.

But bowling at the death is a hard job. But it is also one of the most valuable as a player. It is something I am constantly working on, and something I am looking forward to doing,” he said. “I think wickets in any format are important because you will stop the runs that way.

Sometimes it can be very hard to do that in T20 cricket. We are always talking as bowling groups about the best ways to take wickets. I am sure we will do the same here. I always look to take wickets, and sometimes that comes from being defensive, but we will have our plans in place,” he added.

The all-rounder said he is excited by the high quality in the Desert Vipers squad and revealed his expectations for the team and himself this year. “It is the first one (ILT20), so I don’t have many expectations. I think we have got a really strong side and we all have high expectations.

For the Desert Vipers, hopefully we can start the tournament well, and to lift the trophy at the end is obviously the goal. And for me personally, coming back refreshed after a break, (I am keen to be) hitting the tournament hard,” Curran.

With 1.5 Degrees Sport signed on as the Desert Vipers Climate Change Partner, Tom was especially excited as he said this commitment from the team fitted in with his wider life goals,” It is massive, and links beautifully with my core beliefs as a human. It is very exciting and (I am) looking forward to the development in that regard.”


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