ILT20 2023: Tom Curran refreshed and ready to go for Desert Vipers

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The 27-year-old is part of the Desert Vipers squad that will be led by Colin Munro and also includes his compatriots like Sam Billing, Alex Hales and Tymal Mills among others.

Curran, who was the first international on the Desert Vipers squad to arrive in Dubai, has revealed the forced indoor training in England during the winter is one reason he wanted to arrive early to stay in shape for the start of the tournament.

“I had a bit of time off over Christmas,” Curran told the Vipers Voices podcast. “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 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 the BBL.

On why Tom Curran chose ILT20

The all-rounder had the option to play in other leagues and 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 ILT20),” said Curran. “Moods (Tom Moody, 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.

“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.”

ILT20 2023: Full Squads, List of Captains and Coaches of all six teamsILT20 2023: Full Squads, List of Captains and Coaches of all six teams

Curran has played two Tests, 28 One-Day Internationals and 30 Twenty20 Internationals for England but unfortunately suffered a lower back injury during the previous edition of the Big Bash League in late 2021.

That ruled him out of action in the early part of 2022 and he has not played international cricket since July 2021. ILT20 could be a platform 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.

“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.”

Sam Curran in the limelight

Curran’s younger brother Sam Curran was a star in England’s ICC T20 World Cup winning campaign last year and became the most expensive player at the IPL 2023 auction, being bought for a record Rs 18.50 Crore by Punjab Kings.

But when asked if Sam was in the limelight and he flew under the radar, Tom rushed to his little brother’s defense and said his brother deserves all the limelight.

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“People will have a lot of opinions on a lot of things, to be honest,” he said. “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.”

Tom Curran Bowling goals

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 that is the role as bowling at the death is a hard job,” he said.

“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.

“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 of the best ways to take wickets. I am sure we will do the same here. I aways look to take wickets, and sometimes that comes from being defensive, but we will have our plans in place.” Curran added.

Desert Vipers season goals

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.”

With 1.5 Degrees Sport signed on as the Desert Vipers Climate Change Partner, Tom Curran 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 developing with the sponsors in that regard.”

Source: Media Release

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