Since my last Blog a lot has happened; in brief - Luke Butterworth and his fiancee Brooke moved into a new home. Congratulations. Jason Krezja has been selected in the Australian Test Tour of India. Congratulations. Mike Dighton polished off just another carton of Cascade... That’s what he does, no congratulations required. Dan Marsh is co-leader of the Tigers' Masters with Travis Birt. Both players gorging themselves with 69's. Congrats. Tim Paine and Trent (Rhett) Lockyear are no doubt roasting in the Brisbane sun; the guys learning more about their respective crafts at the Centre of Excellence and I debuted for Australia in a One Day International against Bangladesh in Darwin...
I find it quite hard talking about myself, so if what I’m saying comes across as arrogant or big headed, feel free to kick me in the shin next time you see me bargain shopping out at Northgate.
First of all, getting the call up to the Australian One Day Squad was a huge shock. With Brett Lee going through some tough times at home(I wish him all the best for the up coming tour of India) and the Australia A team out of the country, the call up kind of fell in my lap!!
Upon arrival to the Pre Tournament Camp in Brisbane I was extremely nervous. A number of things played on my mind; 1. Would I be accepted into the group? 2. I wondered what time lunch was? 3. If the first thing on the morning itinerary was a game of Shirts v Skins Soccer; how was I going to get onto the Shirts Team??!! The guys in the Aus team are serious looking athletes. It’s been well documented that Shane Watson enjoys taking his shirt off for a Cleo centrefold (top off) - Michael Clarke is the new face of Bonds underwear (top and bottoms off) - Andrew Symonds and the showering in the carwash advertisement.. (Just a towel.. if you don't mind) These guys are huge!! Fortunately I didn't have to take my top off. Phew!
Being the new kid in any group is always tough work. I never had to be the new student at a school, and it’s been so long since I was the newest member of the Tassie Squad that I wasn't sure how to approach it. More thoughts; Would I have to carry the senior players bags to the team bus? Would they give me a king sized wedgie and then dak me in front of the whole school assembly again.. I mean team. Was my lunch money safe?
I really shouldn't have worried. Everyone in the group was extremely kind and supportive of my selection. Although, there was an early scare when Dave Hussey asked me to massage his quads...I think he thought I was the new physiotherapist. I explained to him that I was actually part of the playing squad and it was smoothe sailing from then on!
The morning of the first game of the series was when I first found out I was going to represent my country at the highest level. I remember it like it was only last week... The skipper wanderers over to me at breakfast and says "youngster, your in today" That’s all I heard. He went on to say something else, but I wasn't listening.. all I needed to hear were those amazing words – YOU’RE IN!! YOUR’RE PLAYING FOR AUSTRALIA!! Then it struck me - Shane Watson was out with an injured calf and poor Andrew Symonds was on his way home.. I'd performed the unthinkable.. I had pulled off a Bradbury!! (Stephen Bradbury gold medal winner at the Olympic Games.. wins gold as the only person to finish the race!!) I had to play. We only had 11 fit men!! HA!
Game day is somewhat of a blur. It was the quickest day of my life. Merv Hughes presented me with my One Day cap (no. 168) everyone shook my hand. I was flashing my black fang (dead front tooth overdue to be re-bleached) all over the place. There were only two times during the day when I didn't smile. Dropping a catch off the skipper at mid on.. Not a great move for furthering your career, and when my only pair of shoes blew out during my second over in International cricket. Fortunately Mitchell Johnson wears the exact same shoe size and shoe style and was kind enough to loan me a pair of his. What was funny about this is that I left my blown out pair of shoes down on the boundary to collect after the match. I found out later that day that a member of the crowd dropped a kid over the fence and stole my shoe!! Brilliant. I say fair play to that young scallywag.. As a graduate of Claremont High that’s the sort of thing that brings a tear to your eye. Tears of pride!!
Currently I'm on a plane to Bangalore. The fella sitting next to me is a chatty young man. His name is Arpoo and he runs a quickemart in a place called Springfield.. Nice guy. He tells me that the "A" series we are about to play in against South Africa, New Zealand and India will be an invaluable experience into learning about International Cricket. I say here here Arpoo, you're a wise man. George Bailey will be there playing a heap of shots, Xavier Doherty will be doing his best to present the seam and I can't wait to play with my fellow Tasmanian team mates in the Green and Gold Australia "A" uniform.