Tye has an eye on cricket’s big time

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Comedy - By IAIN CAMERON

TWO sea­sons ago, An­drew Tye had nearly given up on his am­bi­tion of be­ing a full-time 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 in this month’s player auc­tion.

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 Syd­ney 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 manof-the-match 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 calmly 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-the-match 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 re­ver­sal, 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.

With the IPL auc­tion on Fe­bru­ary 16, 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.”

In the mean­time, Tye is fo­cused on the War­riors’ bid to win the Sh­effield Shield for the first time since 1999 and work­ing hard to be­come an even bet­ter pro­fes­sional crick­eter.

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