Former England batsman Allan Lamb has come out and said that it was quite an emotional moment for him watching the 20-year-old Sam Curran, the son of his "dear old friend" Kevin Curran, bowl against India on Day 2 of the first Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Curran bowled a decisive spell in the context of the match when he ran through Murli Vijay, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan and got India hurting at 56/3 despite being 50/0 at one stage and this, Lamb says, would have made his father Kevin Curran, who played 11 ODIs for Zimbabwe in the 80s, very proud.
In 2012, Kevin scythe through India with a triple strike. He was jogging when he suffered a heart attack and died.
Allan Lamb told Indian Express, “It was sad and shocking, Kevin was the fittest man I knew, a larger-than-life figure, fiercely competitive – and I couldn’t believe it when I heard he died of a heart attack while he was jogging. I had to go across to Wellington College to break the news to Tom. It was miserable times.”
Kevin wanted his sons - Tom and Sam Curran - to play for Zimbabwe one day but it wasn't meant to be. The duo have played for England at the highest level and this, Lamb says, must have been still heartwarming for a father.
He said, "His sons were everything to him. I remember watching startling videos of the boys—Sam must have been 4—playing for hours. Kevin would throw the ball to them. Nothing fancy, mind you. No grass pitches or anything like that. But on a clay surface. I knew then that these boys would go on to do something special. They would play on the sidelines, and I remember telling Kevin that your sons are better than you, and are going to go a long way. I am so glad today that I was right,”
Talking specifically about Sam, Lamb said, “He must have been 12 or something and rightaway, you saw how competitive he was. Just like his father. He was very determined and I told him that he has the talent to go all the way. Then his brother Tom got through first to England, and Sam got more ambitious, saying, ‘I got to play with Tom for England’. I still believe that he is a batsman-bowler; not the other way around. I would be surprised if he doesn’t move up the order soon – he is a bloody good batsman who also bowls well. Not the other way around.”
“Tom was the older brother, probably already 17-18 and could bowl at a fair pace. He would go all out in brotherly banter at Sam in the nets. Bouncers, pacy deliveries … Sam would take a few blows on the body but never flinched. The intensity at those nets was something else. I have never seen any boy train as hard as Sam did. You might think it’s an exaggeration but that was the truth. There was no doubt in any of our minds about his future. In fact, I would have been absolutely shocked if he never played for England.”
Lamb concluded by saying, “I just wish Kevin was around to see this. He would have been so so happy. At 12, to lose your father, change countries, and then go on to play for England. And he is just 20. Kevin was a great old friend of mine. I would have done anything to help him. I was their guardian father. Phone is always there. It would have been tough for him. At 12 when you lose a father like that … who was always involved with him, I sort of took over after that and I would have done anything for Kevin. He would have done the same for me.”