Wait over: now Dean looks to deliver

TWO weeks. After more than two years spent waiting for his opportunity, that’s how long Queanbeyan batsman Jono Dean will have to prove he’s ready to make his Big Bash League debut for the Adelaide Strikers.

Dean flew out to join the Strikers on Thursday as the side begins its final preparations for the third edition of the BBL which gets underway later this month.

The 29-year-old’s irresistible form with the bat over the past 18 months has secured him a spot in the Strikers squad.

But the hard hitting batsman is still far from assured of earning a place in the side’s final XI to take on the Hobart Hurricanes in the side’s season opener on December 22.

In order to achieve that goal, Dean will have a handful of games in the South Australian Premier League over the next fortnight to press his claims for selection. 

“Coming down for Queanbeyan I’ll be a very small fish in a big pond so it’s going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it,” Dean said.

“If I play, brilliant, if I don’t, at least I get to spend that time around those guys and as part of that system.

“My goal is obviously to get a game and to hopefully take that opportunity and run with it if I do get it but there’s not going to be anything handed to me.

“Even just learning how some of these guys go about their business will be great for my game.”

Dean will have the opportunity to showcase his wares when he takes to the field for South Australian club side Western Grit in a two-day game this weekend.

He’ll also line up for the Grit in a Twenty20 tournament the following weekend which will likely prove his final chance to impress the Strikers coaching staff before the BBL gets underway.

In pressing his claims for selection, Dean will be vying for a spot alongside the likes of English master blaster Alex Hales and Strikers captain Michael Klinger among others.

Both Hales and Klinger are likely to be used by the Strikers at the top or the order in a similar role to the one Dean himself is hoping to play.

“I think I’m going down there with a specific role to play in the top order,” Dean said.

“In saying that if I’m given a chance anywhere in the order I’m not going to say no but they’ve brought me in to go hard at the top [of the order] so if I do get an opportunity, I’m thinking it’ll be in the top three.”

As Dean himself knows all too well however, such selection concerns are out of his hands.

And for the moment, the ACT Comets and Prime Minister’s XI representative said he was simply looking forward to taking his chances as they come.

“I’m a little nervous to be honest, mixed with excitement,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get down there. Once I get stuck in it’ll start to sink in a bit more but it’s mainly anticipation at the moment.

“It’s been a long time coming.”

The Adelaide Strikers will get their 2013/14 Big Bash League campaign underway against the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena on December 22.

The Adelaide Strikers will get their 2013/14 Big Bash League campaign underway against the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena on December 22.

The Adelaide Strikers will get their 2013/14 Big Bash League campaign underway against the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena on December 22.

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