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Personal Tragedy Spurred Curran to Become Better Player

| August 4, 2018, 10:22 PM IST

Birmingham: Saturday was all about triumph but Sam Curran has known tragedy early in his life when he lost his father, an episode that moulded him into a cricketer of steely resolve. The youngster attributed his leading role in England's victory in the opening Test to the experience of losing his father as a teenager and playing cricket with his brothers.

"It has been pretty tough," Curran told reporters when asked about the death of his father.

"I was still young when it did happen, but I've got a very strong family -- both my brothers, we're all very close, and my mum's very supportive of all our cricket. I think it made us stronger as a family and me stronger as a person."

His father Kevin played for Zimbabwe and appeared in 11 ODIs during the eighties. He passed away at a young age for the brothers, and Sam outlined how the tragedy only spurred him to do better in life. He was 12 then.

"I do take that into my game. I just play naturally, and try to take as many chances as I can. I don't really think about it too much, and that's when I play my best cricket.

"I think I've learned that as I've grown up, with two very competitive brothers in the back-garden cricket, 'don't give them anything!', and I try to take that on to the pitch."

Curran, in just his second Test, was named Man of the Match after starring with both bat and ball as England won with more than a day to spare.

This was just my second game, and obviously there are going to be ups and downs. (But) I feel as though I have a strong enough character to deal with them. I just want to take one step at a time, and keep learning," he added.

Curran has said that he takes inspiration from senior colleague Ben Stokes as he goes about shaping his international career.

Curran took five wickets in the match, across the two innings. Then, he scored a maiden half-century in the second innings, rescuing his side from 87-7, which set up his side's eventual victory.

"Stokes is one of the guys I've looked at, to have his passion, and I've naturally got quite a competitive spirit. I also had a couple of chats with Joe Root before I went out to bat, and I was trying not to think about the occasion, just play my natural game, like I have been doing for Surrey.

"I'm the type of person who just tries to do that and not worry about what people think and I'm lucky enough a few balls came out of the middle. It was just one of those days, pretty special, and it all feels surreal," said Curran.

Sam's brothers Tom and Ben are also cricketers, with the former having played two Tests for England as well as part of the Kolkata Knight Riders' set-up in the Indian Premier League.

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