Friday, January 11, 2013
Club cricketer in line for BBL debut
Ricky Ponting, Tim Paine, Kemar Roach...um, Chris Sabburg?Club cricketer Sabburg is in line to make a fairytale Big Bash League debut alongside some of the game's biggest names in the Brisbane Heat's most important game to date - Saturday night's must-win clash with the Hurricanes in Hobart.Allrounder Sabburg was the surprise last pick by the Heat for their star-studded roster but the quality control inspector at Brisbane's Rocklea fruit and vegetable markets has been relegated to the role of spectator since.Heat captain James Hopes admitted Sabburg was "very keen" to play - and may get his chance with Ben Cutting's Australian one-day international call-up creating an opening.Heat coach Darren Lehmann said he would make an "11th hour" call on whether Sabburg, Cameron Gannon or fellow quick Matthew Gale would be slotted into the crunch game.The winner of the game can leapfrog Adelaide and book a semi-final spot alongside Melbourne Renegades, Perth and Melbourne Stars."Cuttsy is a loss, and I know we are all really keen to see him go well for Australia soon," Hopes said."But I think we're pretty fortunate as we do have a bit of flexibility in our squad."Cam Gannon has been champing at the bit to get another game this season while Chris Sabburg would be very keen to make his debut after being 12th man for the past few games."And having Galey in gives us another bowling option."We'll have a good look at the deck and their likely line-up and make a call - whichever way we go, I'm pretty comfortable with the options."Sabburg - former Test quick Andy Bichel's cousin - is a left-handed batsman and bowls right-arm off-spin.A steep learning curve awaits the 23-year-old if he chimes into a Heat bowling attack alongside West Indies quick Roach and lining up against Hobart's Paine (237) and Ponting (219) - ranked in the BBL's top 10 run scorers.The Hurricanes batting line-up will also boast Ed Cowan who returns from the Test team.Hobart has also injected Mark Higgs and Michael Hogan into the squad for George Bailey, Xavier Doherty (ODI duty) and Kiwi recruit Scott Styris (hamstring).