With the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup well under way, Tom Curran, bowling all-rounder for England, discusses his passion and drive for a sport weighted in tradition and community, as well as his personal exploration of photography
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 has had over 315 million viewers so far on its official broadcasting network, Star India, testament to this sport’s ever growing popularity. It is a history steeped in tradition and community, evolving from a village game in 16th Century England to an 18th Century platform for betting and gambling. Met with several setbacks that appear incongruous with the sport’s ‘gentlemanly’ connotations, it was first contested as a breach of the Sabbath, the Seven year wars in 1756 and Napoleonic Wars of 1803 halted play almost altogether, and issues surrounding gambling fixtures came to a head in a famous altercation between Cricketers Lord Frederick Beauclerk and George Osbaldeston in 1664. Despite this, the rapid expansion of the British Empire meant that Cricket reached an international stage in 1844 in a game between the USA and Canada, eventually resulting in the founding of the ICC (International Cricket Council) in 1909, as well as the first ever Cricket World Cup in 1975.
And now, ahead of the semi-final for the 12th Edition of the Cricket World Cup, Port spoke to Tom Curran, Bowling All-Rounder for England, uncovering a little of this sportsman, whose sport has not only shaped much of this 24 year old’s life, but runs in the family veins – son of Zimbabwe international cricketer Kevin Curran and brother to professional cricketers Sam and Ben Curran.
Port spoke to Tom Curran about turning his hobby into a job, the privilege of play and his exploration of photography.
You are descended from a line of Cricketers and come from a family of sportsmen, playing alongside your brother Sam Curran. Have you ever been tempted to stray from this as a career?
Obviously cricket has been in our blood line for years – I’ve been playing as long as I can remember. Growing up in a cricket household with my dad and two brothers – it was a core part of our lives since we were very young. I remember being in class at school and just thinking about playing sport.
I played every sport I could to help develop key skills with coordination and ball handling – lots of squash, golf, rugby, football and hockey – but it was always going to be cricket in the end. I always played for the love of the game, but then, I became professional and cricket became a full time job as well as a hobby. I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about a plan B. I was lined up straight from school to go and play for Surrey so feel very lucky and blessed to have been in this position. Of course there are days when it’s a challenge, but that’s sport. It helps to have distractions and things that help take your mind off of it, like photography.
What is it about cricket that you truly love?
I started so young and fell in love with the game very early on, naturally you enjoy the things you are better at. It’s a team sport which I love – playing surrounded by mates is the best feeling. I’m naturally a very competitive person so to play sport at this level gives me a lot of satisfaction. We work hard on the field – to excel and entertain in front of big crowds is both a pleasure and a privilege.
You recently published some pictures of the Barbican in London as part of ECB’s Express Yourself campaign. Have you always been interested in photography?
Yes, I have always been pretty arty – I did it throughout school – painting, drawing, sculpture mostly. I got into photography a bit later and with the development of social media and image-based channels such as Instagram, it encouraged me to start taking a lot more pictures. Also, with the amount of travelling we do and the beautiful places we visit, I wanted to capture all of that. So I got a nice camera and have thoroughly enjoyed going out and exploring the places we go to. It provides a nice distraction from the pressures of being on tour.
What is it about this craft that resonates with you?
It’s a craft that I am still exploring and learning but I really enjoy the art of taking photos and discovering what can be done. The initial enjoyment and satisfaction of taking pictures is the foundation for this.
How did the collaboration with George Benson come about? Were you already aware of him and his work as a travel blogger?
I follow lots of photographers on social channels and came across George a while back. We share a love of travel photography and are also Chelsea fans!
Why the Barbican?
It’s well renowned as a hub for art, the architecture is so varied and interesting to take pictures of. It has a real boutique feel to it and doesn’t feel like central London.
Do you have any favourite photographers?
I really enjoy nature and wildlife photography – there are so many talented people out there taking amazing pictures. I mainly follow people on social media, give them a follow and sometimes we end up having a little chat. That’s the beauty of social media – link with people, make a connection – it helps to fuel my passion for photography.
Tom Curran’s work as part of the ECB Express Yourself Campaign can be viewed below.