Durham seamer Brydon Carse is ready to put his injury problems behind him after seeing his England ambitions put on ice last summer.
Carse is highly rated within the international set-up but has had to come through a couple of awkwardly timed lay-offs, tearing knee cartilage during a Lions camp in Australia ahead of the 2021/22 Ashes and then injuring his toe during his return to the ODI side in July.
England’s fast bowling stocks have deepened over the past 12 months but with a packed schedule across all formats, crowned by a home Ashes and a 50-over World Cup defence in India, they will need plenty of resources in the pace department.
Now, after being restricted to just two County Championship appearances last season, Carse is eager to get cracking when the 2023 campaign begins at the start of April.
“It was a frustrating time towards the end of last season, I’d just broken into the England set-up and had a slight setback, but I’ve recovered well from that and I’ve ended up getting a full winter of cricket in which has been great,” he told the PA news agency.
“It’s always touch wood. The start of 2022 was really positive for me, I was playing for Durham and getting a few international games under my belt, but being out for a period time, you do begin to doubt yourself coming into the winter.
“Now I’m feeling good, positive and fit going into the start of the English summer. I’ve got ambitions to play Test cricket, one-day cricket and T20 cricket for England and wherever the opportunity comes, I need to grab it with both hands.
“But for the next two months my focus is playing red-ball cricket for Durham and putting in winning performances, which will hopefully stand me in good stead for whatever squads get picked over the summer.”
Carse’s mentor, Neil Killeen, is no longer on the staff at Chester-le-Street but his new role as the England and Wales Cricket Board’s elite pace bowling coach means the pair will continue to work together as he strives to take his game to the next level.
“Ever since I joined Durham in 2014 he’s been the only bowling coach I’ve really worked with. For nine years now he’s been someone I’ve worked closely with and he’s someone who knows me best.
“Now that he’s got the role with England, it’s nice to still be in touch with him, not on a day-to-day basis but a couple of times a month. I’m sure I’ll still be seeing him around.”