Wisden Cricketer of the Year Rory Burns eyes Ashes and Surrey success
Surrey captain Rory Burns averages 25 after six Tests for England. © Getty

Surrey skipper and England Test opener Rory Burns is hopeful of a successful run in 2019 both at county and international level, with the prospect of getting a chance to play in an Ashes series a personal goal.

Burns was on Wednesday confirmed as one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year after a successful 2018 in which he earned selection to England’s Test team for the first time after leading Surrey to the County Championship title – their first since 2004 – and scoring 1319 runs at 69.42. The 28-year-old batsman has played six Tests for England, from which a tally of 300 runs at 25, with two half-centuries, has left him wanting to do far more.

Before the Ashes start in August, Surrey play ten County Championship matches and a one-off Test versus Ireland. Burns has two goals – to top 1,000 County runs and to play the Ashes. (READ: In 27th season with Somerset, Marcus Trescothick chasing Championship dream)

“When my brothers wouldn’t play with me anymore I’d throw a tennis ball against the wall and hit it back, playing little Ashes series in my head. Playing for your country, in your country, in an Ashes series. That would be pretty amazing. It’s lurking there, menacing, towards the end of the season,” he told the Evening Standard.

“I’m itching to play a Test at home, in conditions I’m used to. If I get there it’ll be a bloody tough attack to play against. But you have to push it to the back of your mind. I want to get 1,000 runs for these boys again because I’m their captain and I love scoring runs for Surrey. That’s the day job.

“If I do that well and get the six Tests at the back end of the summer, that’s the cherry on top.”

Even though he led Surrey to the County Championship title last year, Burns sees areas where the club can improve.

“It’s easy to say we had an amazing year last year,” he says. “But we were very good in the Championship and equally not good enough in the two shorter formats. By no means were we horrendous, but we did miss out on the knockouts in both. There are three competitions on offer and we won one. Why can’t we win three?”