Queensland Bulls cricket team play at practice match at the Maroochydore Cricket Club. Matthew Gale is looking forward to getting back on the field.
Queensland Bulls cricket team play at practice match at the Maroochydore Cricket Club. Matthew Gale is looking forward to getting back on the field. Warren Lynam

Battle for Sheffield Shield spot keeps Gale on his toes

UPBEAT Sunshine Coast Scorchers quick Matthew Gale remains hopeful he can force his way into the Sheffield Shield-leading Queensland Bulls side.

After making his first-class debut last season as a surprise Bulls call-up, Gale is yet to play Shield cricket for Queensland this season.

With four regular-season games remaining, however, Gale believes time is on his side.

"There is a lot of opportunity there through injury and form (lapses), so hopefully I can get the opportunity at some stage and take it," he said.

Gale, a Chairman's IX representative against Sri Lanka last month, is also yet to play for the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League this season.

He again watched from the sideline as the Heat played the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba last night.

If he fails to get a game for the Heat - and there are only two regular-season matches remaining - it will be the second successive season that has occurred.

After waiting so long to make his first-class debut, however, the 29-year-old has learned to be patient.

"When I was younger, I used to worry about that. It sort of really got to me," he said.

"Being a little older and more experienced, I know there is nothing much to do expect bowl really well."

The Sheffield Shield and Ryobi One Day Cup resume following the Big Bash final on January 19.

Gale has played in the Bulls' past two one-day games, including a last-start man-of-the-match performance in taking 3-48 against New South Wales.

In search of greater opportunity, Gale relocated from Melbourne to the Coast for the start of last season.

He was a find for the Bulls in 2011-12, taking 15 wickets in four matches at 34.26.

But with reigning champion Queensland leading the Shield competition by four points after winning five from seven this season, he has not really had a look-in.

At the forefront of his mind is the knowledge he is playing for a new contract.

"I can only do what I can do on the cricket field, and hopefully that's enough," he said.


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