PRIME Minister’s XI coach Mark Higgs says fellow Queanbeyan batsman Jono Dean stands “on the cusp” of a major career breakthrough.
But Higgs believes Dean must take the opportunity afforded to him by his PM’s XI selection to press his claims on the national stage.
Dean will take to the field for the PM’s XI against the West Indies at Manuka Oval next Tuesday in a match that will be broadcast live around the country via Fox Sports.
The 28-year-old has been on the verge of a Big Bash call up for the past two years with both the Perch Scorchers and the Melbourne Renegades but has thus far proved unable to secure a state contract.
“Without wanting to put too much pressure on him, if he plays well [on Tuesday] it’ll open up some doors for him,” Higgs said of Dean’s selection chances.
“Through the ACT system opportunities are probably a bit limited so an opportunity like this is really important for him.
“I think he’s on the cusp of doing something special but he’s got to do the right things at the right times to promote himself in front of a big audience.”
This year meanwhile, marks the fourth straight year Higgs has been named as PM’s XI coach with the veteran all-rounder given the task of preparing his makeshift side to take on the Windies.
And while his recent Big Bash cameo suggests Higgs still remains in the frame to compete at a high level himself, the 36-year-old said the coaching arena was increasingly his focus moving forward.
“I’ve got goals and aspirations to coach at a high level but it’s the same for me as it is for Jono, it’s about getting my foot in the door,” he said.
“If I can create a good environment for the PM’s lads, hopefully word of mouth will get around that I can do a competent job and things will go from there.”