Teams Played For
England, Essex, England Lions, Hampshire, Sussex
A fine left-arm seamer who burst onto the scene in an unfortunate manner in 2009 when a drive from his favorite batsman, Kevin Pietersen hit him on the side of his head as a net bowler and he needed several stitches to recover from the injury. Pietersen presented Reece Topley with a signed bat as a token of memento which somehow minimized the pain. Topley’s career has been marred by several injuries and his career was in serious jeopardy after he suffered a series of stress fractures leading up to his 25th birthday.
A 6 ft 7 inches bowler, Topley always troubled opposition batsmen with his bounce but it was only in 2011 that he started making the headlines with his wicket-taking abilities. He proved his mettle in the first three Championship games bagging 14 wickets in 3 matches for Essex. However, the 17-year-old had to return to Royal Hospital School to give his summer exams as his father was his school teacher and also his cricketing mentor.
He had a sensational time with the ball in the 2012 U 19 World Cup and finished as the leading wicket-taker with 19 scalps under his belt. However, he wasn’t quite affected by the early hype and emerged as a leading bowler in the county and other English sides he played for. He was called up for the England Lions squad for the tour of Australia in 2013.
The left-arm pacer’s workload has been managed well by ECB and Essex and has been rotated quite often. He performed very consistently in the 2013 season and bagged 80 wickets across formats which earned him a spot on England’s Performance Programme Trip to Australia. However, injury halted his progress yet again as a back injury ruled him out of the England Lions tour of Sri Lanka.
The ECB and Essex have been careful to manage his workload, the county rotating him with their other talented quicks. He was a key member of the team in 2013, taking more than 80 wickets in all formats to earn a place on England's Performance Programme trip to Australia. However, a back injury ruled him out of going to Sri Lanka with the Lions, a reminder of how young fast bowlers need protecting.
On the back of consistent performances in the domestic circuit, Topley was handed over with an elusive international debut against Australia in a T20I against Australia. His success for Hampshire allowed him to find a spot in England for the limited-overs series against Pakistan and South Africa in 2015-16 and was also part of the England squad for the T20 World Cup in India in 2016. After getting decimated at the hands of Ab de Villiers in a high scoring match against South Africa, he was dropped from the Xi and didn’t manage to break into the XI again in the tournament.
Injuries again stalled his progress after he was hit by a bouncer by Boyd Rankin. He returned yet again and signed a white-ball contract with England Lions against India A. He suffered a 5th stress fracture and was not included in the squad for the Royal London Cup.