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Dan Worrall has never experienced conditions like it

Dan Worrall has never experienced conditions like it
Dan Worrall has never experienced conditions like it

Dan Worrall has played cricket many times in oven-like temperatures, especially in his native Australia, but the Surrey fast bowler says he has never experienced anything like the conditions at the Kia Oval on the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Essex.

“It wasn’t quite as humid as it gets in Brisbane,” said Worrall, who turned 31 on July 10 and played three one-day internationals for Australia in South Africa in 2016. “But when you play in Australia you are in coastal cities so you also always have a sea breeze – especially in places like Perth and Melbourne.”

Temperatures reached almost 40C as Worrall bowled brilliantly to take six for 56 from 19 overs – despite the sweltering heat – as Essex were bowled out for 271 on day one. But Worrall added: “That was a different type of heat, because we are playing in a concrete bowl in the middle of a big city and there didn’t seem to be any sort of breeze out there in the middle.

“It was certainly a challenging day and although it is always very nice to get wickets it was even nicer in those conditions to get off the pitch after 84 overs bowling and fielding in that kind of blistering heat!”

Jamie Overton, Surrey’s England fast bowler, agreed that he had never before experienced such debilitating conditions and said: “Perhaps it is because you never think you are going to get 40-degree temperatures in this country so it is mentally very tough to deal with it when it does happen.”

Worrall, meanwhile, a UK passport holder who is relishing his chance to play county cricket on an initial three-year contract as a ‘local’ player – at what he calls “the most prestigious club in the country” – is also thrilled to have West Indies paceman Kemar Roach back as one of Surrey’s two overseas players.

Roach, who has 252 Test wickets, took three for 63 in the Essex first innings and is available for the rest of Surrey’s championship campaign, having taken 26 wickets at 22.7 in his two previous short spells at the Oval.

“It is fantastic to be able to bowl in partnership with someone of Kemar’s calibre,” said Worrall. “I’m really looking forward to learning a lot from him during the rest of the season.”

Born and raised in Melbourne, to an English father and Irish mother, Worrall will intriguingly become available for England selection in 2024 and, given the impression he has already made at Surrey with his ability to swing the ball both ways with excellent control and challenging pace, it is perhaps not at all fanciful to see him as one of the possible Test match successors to James Anderson, who is about to turn 40, and his fellow veteran Stuart Broad, 36.