‘I’ll cop some flak for this’
In a big, knockout game like the one tonight against Sydney Thunder, your mental preparation doesn’t change going into it.
Or at least you try not to change it!
The best approach is to try to treat it the same as any other game – you do what’s worked. And what’s worked for me is to have fun and back my ability.
It’s about doing the job you’re trying to do in every BBL game.
We’ve finished the competition strongly, winning the last three straight, and have a bit of momentum going into the final.
We’re just trying to play no-fear cricket. We probably shouldn’t be in the finals, with the season we’ve had. But we’ve managed to scrape in and here we are. We may as well have a crack!
We’re happy to still be playing. We’ll leave it all out on the ground.
The locals are behind us. We had an open training session – there would have been 300 kids. Great buzz. Hopefully we can give them more of one tonight!
A painful day
I’m a proud descendant of the Mitakoodi people through my mother’s side, and her mother’s as well. The Mitakoodi people live along the Cloncurry River in Queensland and knowing who I am and where I come from connects me with my Indigenous background.
This time of year, there is always a debate about moving Australia Day. Personally, I would like the date to change. That’s my belief as an Indigenous man and one my elders would agree with.
I know a lot of people kick up a stink about not changing the date, and I’ll cop some flak for saying this, but January 26 is not a great day for Indigenous people. The date is painful for me, my people, and for many other Indigenous people.
If we change the date, it would be a good and positive thing for Indigenous people and for our country; because ultimately, the aim of a National Day is for all Australians to celebrate together.
I don’t have an alternative day in mind and everyone will have their own opinions about changing the date or keeping it. That’s part of life. But I think now is the time to talk about it and hopefully we can make a change for us all to celebrate.
‘It’s a bit like golf’
After I took five wickets against the Thunder at Blundstone Arena someone asked, half-joking, how did that happen? I’m still asking myself that same question!
But I’ve been working on getting the leggies to a consistent level and it obviously worked the other night.
I see it as a reward for a bit of work and it reinforced that I can actually do it.
It’s been a frustrating thing for me because it’s a bit like golf – some days it’s on, some days it’s not.
But it was good to take some wickets and contribute in a way I don’t normally contribute.
The mindset for a leg-spinner going into a T20 match, knowing that everyone is effectively trying to smash you out of the park, is to target certain guys who might not be as good at facing slow bowling as fast.
From there, for me it’s about trying to hit the stumps. And if I’m not bowling full-tosses or half-trackers, I’m going alright!
Bottom line: keep it simple, keep the runs down and if you take a wicket, that’s a bonus.
The end goal
I’ve played one game of Sheffield Shield cricket this season. I opened the batting for Western Australia against New South Wales in November and got 50-odd against a Test attack.
But that’s all I’ve played. I’d like to play more but it hasn’t really worked out that way.
I love playing cricket – the more I can play the better. After the Big Bash there’s a short-form series in South Africa, one-dayers and T20s. If I don’t make that squad, hopefully I can play some red-ball cricket.
With the IPL auction, I wasn’t sitting by the phone. I was definitely curious but you can’t sit there watching it, waiting for your name to be called – it’s a very long auction! And you don’t know when your name’s going in the ring half the time.
So I kept half an eye on it. But I didn’t get a gig, so it’s good I didn’t watch it!
The short-term plan now is to make the South Africa tour. Hopefully, we keep winning with the Hurricanes and I get a chance to push my case. Whether it’s top order or middle order, I feel like I could do a job.
Later in the year, there’s the Vitality Blast and 100-ball cricket before the World Cup. I’ll keep putting my name forward there.
The end goal is to be in that squad for the T20 World Cup.
There’s a lot of opportunities for blokes who are seen as short-form cricketers, though I’m still playing state cricket for WA at the moment.
It’s definitely a fun way to ply your trade, playing cricket in other countries. But it’s not forever. I’m going to enjoy it while I can.