THE best way for an academy upstart to catch the eye of the club captain is to knock over his stumps in the nets.

Poole-born Scott Currie, 19, has done just that to James Vince – and is now a key member of Hampshire’s fast bowling squad going into the new domestic season.

“It is a great way to audition and stake a claim,” Currie said. “He is our best batter so if you can cause him some trouble then he’ll take note.

“I have got him out once. I bowled him through the gate. It was kind of anti-climactic as he spends most of the time hammering you everywhere, but it was nice to get one through him.

“I got a nod of approval with a kind of ‘well bowled youngster, now go back and do it again’ type thing.

“I was put in a group with Vince and (Liam) Dawson and it really helps to be rubbing shoulders with them – it helps to upskill you, although it is sometimes pretty humbling bowling to him and Daws.

“It is also nice to be talking with them, bouncing ideas off them and watching them go about their business.”

Currie, who has also represented Dorset throughout his promising career, was due to be embedded as a net bowler for the Ireland squad, who arrived at the Ageas Bowl ahead of their three-match Royal London Series against England at the ground.

But due to the uncertainty around the availability of Kyle Abbott, Fidel Edwards and Brad Wheal, as a result of their overseas locations, Currie has been asked to remain with the Hampshire training camp, and is heavily in their plans when the campaign gets underway on August 1.

Currie said: “I think it makes more sense to stay around the squad now there is more of a concrete plan to fixtures and training.

“That allows me to learn the trade rather than be kind of out of the way and forgotten about with Ireland.

“I'd rather be in the position I am now around Hampshire and hopefully stake my claim to play for Hampshire.

“Without a doubt, it is a confidence booster. The chats I’ve had with Giles and Adi (Giles White and Adi Birrell) help us youngsters know where they stand and that we’re not just there to fill the numbers - we are seen as genuine prospects for the future.

“We’ll have to wait our turn and support the senior bowlers in any way that we can.

“If one of them does, unfortunately, go down and engineers a chance then we will all be raring to go.”

It is a far cry from just over 12 months ago, when Currie missed the start of the 2019 season with a stress fracture in his back.

But his hard work in rehab has paid off, with the tall seamer returning to win a Second XI Championship with Hampshire and represent England in the Under-19 World Cup.

“It was unlike any season I had had before,” said Currie. “It was my first serious injury. It was bizarre to have four or five months out of the game.

“I had put a possible call-up out of my mind and came back into the second team at Hampshire and did alright.

“It was a massive surprise to be selected for the World Cup, because of the injury I had missed the summer series against India and Bangladesh. I thought they had a settled side.”

During the competition in South Africa, Currie claimed seven wickets in four matches and boasted England’s best strike-rate.

Jon Lewis’s side were knocked out in the group stage but bounced back to win the plate final against Sri Lanka. The whole experience left Currie in awe.

“It is simple things like singing the national anthem, wearing an England shirt and being in that bubble,” Currie said.

“I think it prepares you for professional cricket and, further forward, international cricket.

“It was remarkable at times when you are sat next to batting coach Ian Bell on the bus. It is a bit surreal, like you’ve seen this guy on TV and seen him score hundreds.”

Currie boasts an economical bowling action, which was clocked over 80mph during the World Cup. It bears an uncanny resemblance to Australian legend Glenn McGrath.

“I remember watching Glenn McGrath at Lord’s during the 2005 Ashes so vividly,” said Currie, who played football for Portsmouth FC until he was released aged 15.

“I was in awe of what he was doing that day and in my four-year-old mind that was the perfect action.

“It was so economical, so smooth, and he was getting people like Andrew Flintoff out without looking like he was trying.

“Now I’ve been able to look more into his action. He is someone I look up to, not just the cricket stuff but also the stuff he has dealt with off the field.

“It would be wrong to compare myself to him but I definitely look up to him. He’s been a big source of inspiration.”