Helm keen to make up for lost time at Middlesex

Tom Helm wants to play as much cricket as possible this season following his encouraging start to Middlesex’s Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.

The young seamer’s opportunities have been severely restricted in the last two years, suffering a stress fracture and then missing more than half of the 2016 season with torn ankle ligaments.

But Helm is now back at full fitness and, after impressing for England Lions during the winter, he has quickly become a mainstay of Middlesex’s limited-overs attack.

After taking the only Sussex wicket to fall in last week’s abandoned clash at Lord’s, Helm also reeled off an accurate eight-over spell that cost just 13 runs against Gloucestershire.

“I’ve not bowled that long a spell in a while, so it’s nice to know I can bowl eight overs,” said Helm.

“I have faith in my body now, I’m not worried about anything and it’s about time it did get some wear and tear.

“I’d love to play every game from now on, but I’m not sure my body’s really up to that. So I think I’m going to be looked after and bowl a certain amount here and there.

“At the moment I feel I’m in a good place with my bowling and it’s nice that the coaches and selectors have shown faith in me and put me in the side.

“Every game’s a bonus and I’ll do my best.”

Helm’s opening salvo against Gloucestershire helped put Middlesex into a commanding position as they reduced their opponents to 65-5, chasing 257 for victory.

But Ian Cockbain and Benny Howell turned the tide with an unbroken century stand and, by the time Helm returned for another over, he conceded 18 as Gloucestershire clinched a five-wicket win.

“The first eight overs were the good part, but the last one was an important over in the game and I got it wrong,” Helm admitted.

“But I’ll learn from that and sort it out for next time.”