HE MAY have only played a single game but Cameron Gannon rates his season with the Brisbane Heat as a success.
With a full strength bowling line-up, including Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Shane Watson, Ben Cutting and Kemar Roach, the former Ipswich Grammar student didn't expect to tour with the team, let alone play.
However, injuries to Harris and Watson and an unexpected Test call-up for Johnson saw Gannon touring with the squad for the majority of games and suiting up for the opening Heat game of the season.
"When I signed with the Heat, I saw it as an opportunity to stay with a Twenty20 team, but I didn't think I'd play or even tour with the team," he said.
While he hasn't been playing, Gannon has been touring with the team as the 12th or 13th man and is currently with the team in Perth for tonight's grand final against the Scorchers.
But the presence of so many international-level bowlers has given Gannon a brainstrust of quicks to learn from.
"Ryan Harris and I actually play at the same club together," he said.
"He's a good one to pick the brains of."
Ryan Harris and I actually play at the same club together. He's a good one to pick the brains of.
Gannon was full of praise for the injury-prone fast bowler, who he hoped would be fit for the Champion League tournament the Heat qualified for.
Gannon's chances at playing in September's Champion's League are even less likely than the grand final.
A full-strength Heat squad in the Champion's League could feature Harris, Johnson, Watson, New Zealand spinner Dan Vettori and the world's top-rated bowler Dale Steyn.
However, the chance to play and train alongside international-level players has Gannon champing at the bit.
He said he had already learnt from the blossoming of Heat paceman Ben Cutting who was called up to the Australian one-day squad for international duty.
"One of the biggest thing's I've learnt this year is that as a six foot six (198cm) fast bowler, you don't need to be always thinking about swing," he said.
"When you look at Cutsy, when he bashes the length, he's as hard to hit as anyone out there.
"That's what I'm trying to work on and I think it's something Australian cricket is lacking at the moment, that kind of old school fast bowling of line and length.
I think it's something Australian cricket is lacking at the moment, that kind of old school fast bowling of line and length.
"As a bowler bowling to people like (Bulls batsman) Usman (Khawaja) or, in the form he's in, (Heat batsman) Luke Pomersbach, it is really handy in refining your length.
"Those guys aren't going to give you an inch."
Gannon is hoping to take this advice back to the Sheffield Shield when it restarts next month.
"For me (Shield) has always been the pinnacle of Australian domestic cricket," he said.
"It will always be my favourite form of the game. I really can't wait for the season to get going again."
It will always be my favourite form of the game. I really can't wait for the season to get going again.
- Biggest influence: Aaron Nye. He was a clubmate of mine at Wests and he's the guy who's given me the kick in the pants I needed.
- Favourite player: Growing up I was always a massive fan of Steve Waugh.
- Best advice: Play straight and leave well.
- Favourite movie: Top Gun
- Favourite book: The Power of One.