QUEANBEYAN all-rounder Mark Higgs appears set to make his long awaited Big Bash League debut after being called into the Hobart Hurricanes squad for their must-win clash against Brisbane on Saturday night.
Higgs narrowly missed out on a contract with the Adelaide Strikers earlier this season, seemingly putting paid to his ambitions of an unlikely return to Australian cricket’s top flight.
But with injuries and representative selection cutting a swathe through the Hurricanes’ bowling ranks, the 36-year-old could now find himself playing a pivotal role in the Tasmanian outfit’s finals campaign.
Hobart must beat Brisbane at Bellerive Oval in tomorrow’s match in order to ensure a finals berth while defeat would all-but end the club’s title charge.
After coming agonisingly close to securing a spot with the Strikers only to be denied at the final hurdle, Higgs said his Hurricanes’ call-up had come completely out of the blue.
“I don’t know if it’s 100 per cent confirmed that I’ll be playing but I’m definitely in the mix for what is going to be a pretty big game so it’s exciting,” he said.
“It was disappointing to miss out on a spot with the Strikers but at the same time, I thought I bowled really well with them and that’s led to this opportunity with the Hurricanes.
“It has been a bit of a rollercoaster, I’ve been all around the place [looking for an opportunity] lately so I’m really looking forward to Saturday and hopefully I can get a game.”
Higgs trained with the Hurricanes last weekend prior to linking up with the ACT under-19s squad at the national championships in Adelaide, doing enough to convince selectors he would be able to fill the void left by the absence of star spinner Xavier Doherty.
Doherty has been one of Hobart’s best this season but will be unavailable for Saturday's clash after being called into Australia's one-day squad.
Hurricanes coach Tom Coyle said he had no doubts the experienced Higgs would be able to cover the crucial off spinner’s role.
“[There are] obviously some young spinners around the country at the moment [who] were considered as well but at the end of the day it’s a big game and we felt we needed [Mark’s] experience,” he said.
“Mark had a trial with the Strikers earlier in the year and my mail is he did very well…at this stage, we’re quite confident Mark can play the role that Xavier has been able to play for us.”