Tough Tye avoids blues
TWO seasons ago, Andrew Tye had nearly given up on his ambition of being a fulltime professional cricketer.
Today he is a key player in the Warriors squad, has a Big Bash League winner’s medal after the Perth Scorchers’ recent triumph, faces the exciting prospect of playing in the 2015 Champions League and may join an Indian Premier League franchise after the player auction yesterday.
It has certainly been a rapid rise for Tye, whose achievements were lauded by former Test stars Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist in their TV commentary during this season’s BBL final when the Scorchers beat the Sydney Sixers in Canberra.
The 28-year-old bowler had made his BBL debut last summer when he joined the Syd- ney Thunder franchise after some impressive performances for the Warriors in the 2013 Ryobi Cup .
“Unfortunately the Scorchers had filled all their slots, so I accepted an offer from the Thunder,” he said. “While it meant leaving Perth, I gained experience in another environment and learnt a lot from their players.”
Injury problems limited Tye to three Thunder games but he excelled for the Scorchers in this summer’s BBL, winning two man-of-thematch awards and playing a big role in the team’s success.
He credits WA coach Justin Langer for the “massive” impact he has had on his career.
“I would not be where I am today without Justin’s help and guidance,” he said.
Few will forget the final over of the Scorchers’ semi- final innings against the Melbourne Stars when Tye failed to hit any of Clint McKay’s six deliveries.
At the end of the over, when McKay mockingly showed him the ball, some of Tye’s team-mates thought he may have said, “Is this what you were looking to hit?”
He ignored McKay’s gesticulation, instead trying to focus on his bowling role but also remembering what Langer had told his players before the game.
“Sure I was disappointed in myself but Justin said he wanted every one of us to hold our heads high, be positive and strive for a man-of-thematch performance.”
Defending only 144, the Scorchers stormed back to win by 18 runs, with Tye man of the match after taking 4-18 that included skittling McKay.
It was an incredible rever- sal, going from zero to hero at the Furnace and turning the fans’ earlier jeers into cheers as they reached the final.
Tye also credits that comeback to his partner Caitlin, who teaches meditation and yoga, for his new-found ability to relax and refocus.
After the game, Stars mentor and former West Indian great Viv Richards took him aside.
“He said, ‘Very well bowled and the way you came back after that over was amazing’ – that really meant a lot,” the modest Tye admitted.
Thunder captain Mike Hussey believes Tye could excel in India.
“I rated him highly in our side last year and AJ has been brilliant for the Scorchers this season,” Hussey said.
“He has a great slower ball, is calm under pressure and has all the attributes needed to succeed in the IPL.”