Hampshire Cricket can announce that seamer Reece Topley has signed a white-ball contract with the Club for the 2018 season.
Topley, who joined Hampshire at the end of 2015, penned the new deal in December as part of a programme to help maximise his playing opportunities whilst preventing injury, throughout the course of the season.
Following a proposal put forward by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), and with the full support of the player and Hampshire, the decision has been made for the left-armer to feature in limited-overs matches throughout this summer.
Director of Cricket, Giles White said: “Reece’s attitude to his rehab and recovery has been outstanding and he deserves for things to go his way this year.
“Reece’s intentions for red-ball cricket are clear, and the longer-form of the game is still something that is important to him in the future - this move is something that ourselves, Reece and the ECB feel is the best route to take this season, for him to be able to achieve his long-term goals at both domestic and international level.”
Hand and back injuries prevented Topley from featuring prominently for the side in his opening season, and a recurrence of a stress fracture to his back cut short his 2017 campaign last July.
The Ipswich-born paceman, who turned 24-years-old last week, was shut down for a six-week period following the injury, and after consulting with a specialist and the ECB, a decision was made to approach his recovery conservatively with no surgery required.
Several months on, this conservative approach has helped Topley successfully return to bowling where he has continued to work towards returning to full fitness - the latest step of which has seen him participate in England’s Pace Programme, under the guidance of fast-bowling coach Kevin Shine, throughout the winter.
Reece Topley said: “It has been a frustrating time for me as a young bowler. It is hoped that this proposal will assist me by preventing further injury as my body matures. Going forward, I do hope to return to red-ball cricket and still harbour ambitions of being the first left-arm fast bowler to take 100 Test wickets for England but that remains a long-term goal.
“The short-term goal is simply to return to performing for Hampshire and only then perhaps to try and resurrect playing for England where I am still ambitious to add to my 16 caps. I would like to thank Hampshire for their understanding and continued support and cannot wait for the coming season.”
Topley possesses impressive white-ball statistics at domestic level so far in his career, having claimed a total of 162 wickets at an average of just 23.23 in 108 List A and T20 contests.
The 6ft 7in bowler has also impressed at international level, having represented England in 16 limited-overs fixtures so far in his career, taking 21 wickets at an average of 30.11.