Durham & England Lions quick Brydon Carse is a volunteer for the NHS
Upcoming Durham and England Lions quick Brydon Carse is happy to put his international ambitions to one side during the COVID-19 pandemic and spend his time instead as a volunteer for the NHS.
The 24-year-old had hoped to further his growing reputation with Durham this summer after he impressed with the England Lions during their winter tour of Australia.
That taste of international life had led Carse to target a return Down Under with the full England squad for the 2021/22 Ashes series, but such ambitions will have to wait, for now at least, with the domestic season delayed until at least May 28 due to the coronavirus.
In the meantime, Carse is waiting to be accepted to join the NHS Responder programme and play his part for the local community in a time of crisis.
“I’m the sort of person that needs to be seeing people and I need to be active. I get bored very easily,” he said.
“The last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle because I’m not into gaming and I’m not a good reader. I’ve been itching to get out there. I’ve been doing the training programmes sent by the club and then going for walks and runs in the afternoons.
“I’ve volunteered for the NHS, but I’m waiting for confirmation for my role. I just need something to get me out of the house.
“I think there’s no better way to try and help out because I know a few people working in the NHS and they’re going through a stressful time. So in any way I can be of use I’ll try my best.”
When cricket does resume Carse admits he will face the most important 12 months of his young career so far.
The right-armer returned to the field last season after missing the entirety of the 2018 campaign due to injury. He impressed in all formats, but made huge progression in the County Championship in the latter months – ending with 35 wickets to his name.
His form was recognised by the England selectors for the Lions tour, initially for the one-day series before being called into the squad for red-ball matches against Australia A and New South Wales XI.
And Carse knows in order to fulfil his lofty ambitions that plenty of hard work lays ahead.
“It’s the ultimate goal to be considered for the Ashes,” he said.
“Obviously the situation now in the country affects matters, but it does mean that whenever cricket starts up there will be opportunities over the next 12 to 18 months. They will probably be the biggest months of my career.
“If I can keep stringing together good performances for Durham and keep knocking on that door it’s the ultimate dream.
“There are a group of really good young bowlers coming through now. I’d like to think that I do offer something that little bit different.
“I’ve got a bit of a taste now of what cricket is like in Australia and definitely would not turn down the chance to do it again.”
For now Carse is getting used to the new normal of staying indoors and preparing for whenever a season might start.
Durham’s season had been schedule to start at home to Nottinghamshire over the Easter break, and the sense of what might have been is even more palpable for Carse who has not bowled a ball in anger since the north-east side’s pre-season tour of Zimbabwe was cancelled after three days.
“Last season was a great seven months of cricket for me and then getting picked to play in the winter was even better,” he said.
“As the Lions tour went on I felt I was getting better and better. I’ve now gone from being on the pre-season tour to sitting at home – I haven’t bowled a ball in a month!
“It’s frustrating, but the most frustrating aspect is not knowing when we’re going to be back playing. Everyone is in the same boat. I’m just making sure that I’m doing as much as I can to be ready for the season if there is going to be any form of cricket.”