Heat palyers leave the field after losing the Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Sydney Sixers at The Gabba on January 7, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.
Heat palyers leave the field after losing the Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Sydney Sixers at The Gabba on January 7, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. Chris Hyde / Getty Images

Brisbane players take the heat with week of extremes

IT HAS been a week of extremes for the Brisbane Heat players.

Our games against the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers were split by a few other games of cricket over the weekend.

The entire Heat squad ventured back to Brisbane club cricket for a one-dayer on Saturday, followed by a Twenty20 semi-final for some last Sunday.

It's not often that State players get the opportunity to get back to where they came from and turn out for their club team during a season scheduled to the hilt already, so it was important we all made the most of it.

It was also an opportunity for our imports to get some more cricket under their belts, with Dan Christian joining me at Souths where we took on a rock star Toombul lineup.

Contrary to popular belief, returning to grade cricket after an extended time representing your state or country is no walk in the park.

Sure, the standard is a little different, but there are a few other factors to overcome.

The wickets are often underprepared, making the average seam-bowling grade cricket stalwart harder to bat against than your big brother with a half-taped tennis ball.

And going from large crowds and an electric atmosphere watched by millions around the globe, to plying your same trade in front of 'Skip' the flee-ridden dog and his two-toothed owner muttering something about the price of milk to you on the fine leg boundary can be a challenge.

One thing club cricket has provided over the years is match practice for those coming back from injury.

I remember my early days in the Bulls squad when I'd play for Souths every Saturday alongside childhood idol Andrew Bichel, who was returning from shoulder surgery.

It was that season alongside him in grade cricket as he fought his way back - and I tried to fight my way in - that I learnt a lot about the game and what it takes to be a professional.


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