6-93 on his debut at Lord’s – ‘best catch ever’ on his T20 bow – Brad Currie doesn’t do quiet debuts
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I would say my cricketing journey began in the game in which I made my professional first-class debut for Sussex CCC at the home of cricket, Lord’s.
But that would neglect the hours of training, travelling and trialling I had to do prior to this opportunity – so wrtinig this article for Sussex Newspapers and sussexworld.co.uk gives me an amazing opportunity to once again thank all of those that helped me get to where I am today, to whom I am eternally grateful.
July 21, 2022. was day three of my debut v Middlesex. We’d bowled for a brief period the night before and Middlesex were nearly 100-0 and it looked like it would be a tough day with ball in hand.
However, I somehow managed to pull out arguably my best ever spell. I remember getting Mark Stoneman out and being so happy I wasn’t going to be that debutant that went 0-100.
Shortly after I managed to get Stephen Eskinazi just as I was about to finish my spell – but this bought me another couple of overs and then I managed to get Sam Robson and Max Holden in the same over.
The dream spell and debut was nearly complete when I managed to find overseas player Pieter Malan’s outside edge but it was heartbreakingly dropped, but deep down I knew there was plenty of time to get that magical fifth wicket.
Fast forward to the evening session and Middlesex had countered well but Toby Roland-Jones walked across his stumps and was hit on the pads and the umpire raised his finger and the dream debut was all but complete .. until three balls later I managed to get Umesh Yadav out.
And as this is my story I’ll choose to neglect the fact that he hit two of his first three balls into the stands! I finished with 6-93 on debut and led my team off at the home of cricket – and that’ll be etched into my memory forever.
Next came the Royal London One Day Cup whereby it soon became very apparent there was a bromance developing between me and my flatmate and opening bowler partner, Ari Karvelas.
We opened the bowling together for all but one of the matches and we made it a thing of taking early wickets – and if one of us wasn’t taking early wickets, the other one was.
Having topped the group stage we managed to land a home semi-final versus a very strong Lancashire team, but unfortunately this story didn’t have the fairytale ending I hoped for.
We lost but the campaign was a truly remarkable one and again an experience I’ll never forget – but I know we’re hungry to go even further this year in the One Day Cup.
The season concluded with a few County Championship games which then led into a long winter of training and hard work which resulted in a new contract for me.
I was obviously very pleased to hear Sussex wanted to sign me for the 2023 season but there wasn’t much time to lap it up as I was desperate to impress the new head coach Paul Farbrace and stake my claim for a first team spot at the start of the season.
It took me until the Leicestershire away game to get my opening first team game of this season but yet again it would prove to be a memorable one as former Australian captain and undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, Steve Smith, was in the team, along with Cheteshwar Pujara. What a powerful batting line-up that gave us.
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t have my best game but it’s moments like these I like to remind myself of how far I’ve come… yes, I played in a County Championship game with Steve Smith and Cheteshwar Pujara!
Next came the run-up to the T20 Blast campaign, a competition I’d still not played in but dreamed about featuring in as a kid. We had numerous 2nd XI games in the build up to the start of the blast which presented me with the opportunity to impress skipper Ravi Bopara and senior player Tymal Mills.
I managed to make the squad for the first handful of games which I was initially very happy about, but I remember telling Farby that I was going to going to keep pushing and give him no choice but to give me my debut.
We had a tough start to the competition and it became increasingly frustrating not playing knowing that it was hard for me to help Sussex win games; I just wanted to be out there playing and winning games for Sussex.
Eventually my chance came, it took until the ninth game of the campaign to get my debut and it was the El Clasicoast derby versus local rivals Hampshire and to add to it, it was televised.
We lost the toss and were put in and posted 183 largely thanks to a brilliant 64 from Oli Carter. I had the daunting but exciting task of opening the bowling against Australian overseas player Ben McDermott and the competition’s all-time leading run scorer, James Vince.
I think it’s fair to say my first two balls could have been better as they were both horrible wides, Vince then came on to strike and he tried to go over mid-wicket but with the ball still swinging he dragged his shot out to deep square and I had my first T20 wicket.
The next ball brought another wicket and suddenly I was on a hat-trick in my first over of T20 cricket, so what did I do? Bowl a wide! My next over actually brought a former Dorset CCC teammate to the crease, Ross Whiteley, and with a fortunate inside edge I had my third wicket.
The powerplay had finished and I had 3-17 from three overs and eventually finished with 3-27 from my allotted four overs.
Hampshire had brought themselves back into the game and needed 24 off the last two overs, which brings me to perhaps the main reason for this article… the catch!
It was Mills to Benny Howell, and the ball was swatted out to deep square leg where I was fielding, I picked it up pretty nicely and started sprinting towards the ball in hope of catching it or at least preventing the six.
The ball was out of reach and seemingly sailing over the ropes, according to Sky commentator Mark Butcher, but I put in an instinctive dive and somehow plucked the ball out of the air one-handed and it stuck. It felt like an age in the air as I landed and winded myself, I got up and tried to celebrate as best as I could, masking the pain I was in without truly realising what had just happened.
Tom Clark came charging over in disbelief and I think i then started to realise the magnitude of what had happened. The replay of the catch then showed on the big screen and the crowd’s reaction was priceless – Hove was completely stunned and so were my teammates but we then had to quickly switch on again because we still had a game to win.
With all that happened I was more determined than ever to make this a winning debut. Millsy and Ari fantastically closed out the game and we won by six runs. I think at the point it was the best I’ve ever felt on a cricket pitch, the crowd’s cheers and the team elation over a derby win was unrivalled.
We walked off the pitch and I was told I was man of the match, I finished my media duties and headed upstairs to the lads who were saying ‘Brad, you’re trending on Twitter, Ben Stokes has retweeted your catch, everyone is going is mental.’
I had gone viral, my phone didn’t stop all night! It was the best night of my life and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to top my debut at Lords but somehow I did, I guess I enjoy debuts!
The next game provided a bit of a reality check versus Kent but I managed to keep my spot in the team for all of the final six games in the competition and we even managed to have an outside chance of qualifying in our last group stage game despite seemingly being out of the running at the midway point.
We won all three of our away trips, versus Gloucestershire, Glamorgan and Kent. I finished the competition with five wickets at an average of 22 and an economy rate of 7.5, which was the fifth best for all seamers in the south group.
This brings me to the present – with an exciting rest of the season ahead for me and the club. I want to keep pushing to play in the County Championship side as we bid for promotion to division one this year.
We’ve also got the One Day Cup again in August which, as I previously stated, we’re very keen to go even further in than last year’s effort.
I have my international ambitions of playing for Scotland as it’s a very exciting time to be a Scottish cricketer – there are lots of ICC tournaments coming up, including next year’s T20 World Cup.