Daily Mail

The world has now seen that Sam’s special

Former England batsman ALLAN LAMB tips godson Curran for big Test future

- By Lawrence Booth

For Allan Lamb, the part played by Sam Curran in England’s T20 World Cup triumph in Melbourne came as little surprise. ‘When Sam got into Wellington College as a boy, I told the deputy head that he would go on to play for England,’ says Lamb. ‘If you give him a challenge, he rises to it. he’s proved he can do anything.’

If Lamb, part of the England team that lost a World Cup final against Pakistan at the MCG 30 years ago, sounds proud, that is because he has more than a passing interest in a player whose 13 wickets helped Jos Buttler’s side to glory.

Lamb, now 68, is Sam’s godfather, having been a team-mate and close friend of Kevin Curran, Sam’s father, during their time together at Northampto­nshire in the Nineties.

Kevin died suddenly in 2012, but Lamb has kept in touch with the family, including Sam’s brothers Tom, who has played 60 times for England across the formats, and Ben, who has opened for Northampto­nshire.

‘I’m very chuffed for Sam,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘But I’m probably more chuffed for KC, who will be looking down at it all. It’s because of him that the boys have got to where they are.

‘They lived down the road from us, and Sam was holding a golf club both right and left-handed at the age

of four. he probably has the most natural ability out of all three of them. And he has such a level head. But they all have the aggression of their dad, and KC would definitely have been out in Australia. Sarah (Sam’s mother) was out there, but she came back before the end. I spoke to her on Sunday and she was kicking herself. She’s such a proud mother.’

In his day, Kevin Curran — who represente­d his native Zimbabwe at the 1983 and 1987 World Cups — was one of the most combative all-rounders on the county circuit, and his progeny have served England well.

however, Lamb would now like to see England’s Test team making better use of Sam’s all-round ability. ‘For me, he has always been a batter-cum-bowler, but England haven’t looked at it that way. If you asked him to bat at No 6, he would do a bloody good job.

‘Ed Smith, who was the convenor of selectors, came to me shortly before Sam’s Test debut against Pakistan at headingley in 2018, and I said, “Ed, he won’t let you down”.

‘one hundred per cent Sam should have been picked for the Test tour of Pakistan. England have so many bowlers of the same type — they need something a bit different. I’d definitely take him to New Zealand in the new year. I’m sure they will pick him.’

The skiddiness he generates from an unimposing 5ft 7in frame reminds Lamb of the former West Indies great Malcolm Marshall. And he is hoping to fix Curran up with a one-to-one session with Wasim Akram, the king of left-armers — and the man who thrillingl­y bowled Lamb as part of a matchwinni­ng burst back in that 1992 final.

The memory of that game prompted Lamb to contact Curran before Sunday’s final. ‘I sent him a text saying please tell the boys to win it for us,’ he laughs.

But Lamb is more excited about the future than settling an old score. ‘The world has now seen there is something special about this boy.’

It seems almost unsentimen­tal to point out that, in cricketing terms, the 24- year- old Curran has just become a man.

 ?? AAP ?? Prize guy: Sam Curran
AAP Prize guy: Sam Curran

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