June 2, 2009

England cricket

Topley junior drops his chance

Andrew McGlashan

For young cricketers the chance to be asked to bowl in the nets at an international team is a dream come true, but for Reece Topley his encounter with Kevin Pietersen had a nasty end.

During England’s net session at Loughborough a straight drive from Pietersen hit Reece on the ear and left him needing stitches.

Now, if the surname rings a bell you’d be right. Reece’s father is Don Topley, the former Essex cricketer, who became famous when he almost took a brilliant catch while on as substitute against West Indies at Lord’s in 1984 but put his foot on the boundary. He later claimed to know of matches that had been fixed but nothing was proved.

And he showed his caring side when asked about his son’s mishap. “I did suggest to Reece that he might have dropped a catch – to which he replied he had stopped it going for six.”

Pietersen was concerned about Reece’s injury and has left him an autographed bat to collect on his return.

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Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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