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‘IPL is the pinnacle, but…’: Tom Curran breaks silence on brother Sam’s record auction bid

England’s bowling all-rounder Tom Curran opened up on his return to cricket with the ILT20, his brother Sam’s IPL auction bid and England future.

The last year had been tough on England’s World Cup-winning all-rounder Tom Curran. In January 2022, Curran was sidelined for months after enduring a stress fracture of the back. Justifiably, Curran didn’t make a single international appearance the entire year, with his last outing for England coming in July 2021. While Curran did make appearances in First-Class cricket for Surrey later in 2022 and even appeared in the T20 Blast for Oval Invincibles, the 27-year-old failed to break into the England squads.

Tom (L) and Sam Curran(ILT20/File)

This year, though, Curran made a return to cricketing action on a more consistent basis, as he appeared for the Desert Vipers in the DP World International League T20 at the United Arab Emirates. He took 12 wickets in 11 matches and had 150 runs to his name in the tournament, as Vipers reached the final where they faced a defeat to Gulf Giants. Nevertheless, Curran feels refreshed after returning to cricket action this year and believes he is at a much better place.

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During a chat with Hindustan Times, Curran stressed on how important leagues such as ILT20 are for him at this stage of his career. While the England player doesn’t target an international comeback now, it certainly is there on the back of his mind.

“Any cricket is important. It was a much-needed break that coincided with by stress fracture. You get on the wagon and play so much cricket.. I’ve been played for so many years now. It’s nice to have a reset, get fit and strong again, and mentally refresh yourself,” Curran tells Hindustan Times.

“I loved my time at Desert Vipers, it’s a great group. The coaching staff and management have been amazing. For me, that’s the target right now. To be honest, a return to international cricket is not in my thought right now. I’m just trying to have fun with my cricket, and be happy with my life.”

While Curran was away from action, his younger brother Sam continued to make his mark in international cricket and in December last year, broke the record for highest bid in IPL auction history; Curran was signed by Punjab Kings for a whopping INR 18.5 crore. Curran senior, meanwhile, went unsold at the auction.

It hasn’t dented his confidence, though.

“There are so many leagues now. Obviously, IPL is still probably the pinnacle, and has been for some time now. But it’s tough as well. There are a lot of leagues happening right now with very high standards. Whichever the league is, I just want to put the best foot forward and perform for my team,” Curran says with conviction.

Curran has played in the IPL before, and stated that one of the advantages of playing at the ILT20 is the bigger grounds in the UAE.

“The ground sizes are a bit bigger here apart from Sharjah, which is one positive as a bowler when you compare them to some other grounds in India. The international standards are really good. I’ve enjoyed it a lot,” Curran says.

Having returned from a stress fracture, Curran had announced earlier this month that he would be taking a break from red-ball cricket. He insists that it wasn’t a decision taken in haste.

“I’m not playing four-day cricket this year. It’s the right decision for me physically and mentally. I had injuries last year. It will be T20 Blast and The Hundred this summer, which is a lot of cricket. I made the decision myself and it wasn’t an easy one. I had to rip up my Surrey contract, it wasn’t a financial decision as you can see. It’s just the right decision for me physically and mentally,” said the England bowling all-rounder.


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