Higgs one step closer to Big Bash debut

SIX years after playing his last game for South Australia on the national stage, Queanbeyan all-rounder Mark Higgs appears poised for a return to Adelaide Oval.

After weeks of speculation surrounding the 36-year-old’s playing future, Higgs confirmed on Wednesday that he has attracted serious interest from the Adelaide Strikers for their upcoming Big Bash League campaign.

Higgs will join the Strikers in the club’s pre-season training camp next week where he will look to push his claims for selection.

“I like to think [my chances] are better than 50/50,” Higgs said of his chances to secure a Big Bash contract with the Adelaide-based outfit. “But it’s just about going over there and showing them I can still play the game.

“[The Strikers] are looking for a left-arm orthodox spinner and they gave me a call a few weeks ago to see if I can play some cricket for them.”

The six-time Queanbeyan club champion showed he still has the ability to mix it at the elite level earlier this month after a five-wicket haul for South Australia against a touring English Academy side.

Higgs’ opportunity to secure a Big Bash contract has come following season-ending injuries to Strikers duo, former Australian all-rounder Andrew McDonald and emerging tweaker Jon Holland.

The Adelaide side will also be without star spinners Nathan Lyon and Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal for the bulk of the club’s 2012/13 campaign due to their international commitments.

It all adds up to an unexpected opportunity for Higgs who until recently had been happily retired from all forms of the game before receiving an unexpected phone call from South Australian director of cricket Jamie Cox.

Should he secure a Big Bash debut at 36, Higgs will be looking to emulate the likes of fellow veterans Brad Hogg (41) and Shane Warne (43) who have stamped their mark on the League in recent seasons.

“Twenty20 is one of those games where things happen so quickly that…it’s all about instinct and the ability to think on your feet,” Higgs said.

“Whether you’re young or experienced, it’s just about getting out there…turning the ball and just doing your best to stop them hitting you out of the park.”

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