Bowler Brydon Carse insists it has “always been a number one focus” to play cricket for England after his key performance in the first Vitality T20 International against New Zealand.
The Durham quick took three wickets for 23 runs as England charged to a seven-wicket victory in the first game of their white-ball series.
Dawid Malan and Harry Brook chased down the 140 target, scoring 54 and 43 respectively to give England the advantage going into the second T20 at Old Trafford on Friday.
IT20 debut ✅ Three wickets ✅ We start with a win ✅
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 30, 2023
Carse was a late replacement in the 20-over squad for the New Zealand series, replacing the injured John Turner, and despite dealing with injuries himself in recent times, he insists that playing for England remains a priority.
“Over the last year I’ve had massive ambitions to play for England,” Carse told a press conference.
“I was unfortunate in the winter to pick up an injury and it’s always been my number one focus to try and play for England again.
“With the amount of white-ball cricket in all the different leagues around the world at the moment players have got a lot of opportunity to play a lot of cricket.
“I think it just comes down to what your ambition is, what you want to do as a cricketer. I’ve still got a lot of ambition to play red-ball cricket and to play Test cricket for England.”
It was a welcome homecoming at the Riverside for Carse, who earned his first T20 international scalp for England after bowling Finn Allen.
He struck again in the final over, picking up the wickets of Ish Sodhi and Adam Milne and Carse admitted there was plenty of excitement when he found out he had been selected to play on home turf.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Carse added. “When I got the news from Jos (Buttler) yesterday afternoon that I’d be playing there was a lot of excitement to play at Durham, where I’ve played my cricket over the last nine years.
“So a lot of familiar faces and a lot of familiar surroundings, it probably just made me that little more relaxed coming into the game.”
Unfazed by his omission from the provisional 50-over World Cup squad, Brook played a key part alongside Malan in getting England over the line with 36 balls to spare and Carse admitted the Yorkshire batter is “a joy to watch”.
He said: “I’m glad I haven’t had to play against him in the last 18 months because he’s either been for England or in the Hundred with me – so far it’s been okay!
“He just seems to be hitting it all around the ground and the tempo he’s batting at, it’s great for him and for English cricket to be honest.
“He’s been unbelievable, I’m fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time with Harry on and off the field as well, I get on well with him.
“To see him go about his business over the last 18 months has been a joy to watch, he’s such a laid back character in and around training, he loves batting.”