Dubai 'recruit' back to future
ONE time Division One player-of-the-year Michael Ridgewell made a discreet return to Ipswich cricket with Northsiders on Monday night.
Ridgewell has moved back to Ipswich after two years in Muswellbrook and signed on with the Tigers.
The former Brothers, Colleges Crossing and Swifts all-rounder made his debut for Northsiders on Monday night in their Twenty20 win over Brothers.
"I was pretty happy with my game, even though I didn't get many runs," Ridgewell said.
His return was somewhat overshadowed by teammate and Queensland player Chris Lynn.
The Toombul batsman is dual registered so can play Twenty20 for the Tigers.
"He smoked them," Ridgewell said.
Ridgewell returned to Ipswich after losing his job as an apprentice electrician in the mines at Muswellbrook, but has found work in Dubai.
It means he will spend five weeks here and five weeks there but has decided to base himself back in his home town of Ipswich.
"All my friends are here," Ridgewell said.
Ridgewell continued playing cricket while in NSW, representing the state at indoor cricket and playing in the Newcastle grade competition.
However, the 28-year-old watered down expectations that he would resume where he left off as one of the Ipswich competition's leading all-rounders.
"I'd be lying if I told you I was the same cricketer," Ridgewell said.
"I'll always put in 100 percent.
"But I bowled three overs on Monday night and my back was a bit sore. I don't get much time to train. But it might come back. If I spend some time in the middle, I should be hitting them alright."
Even at 80 percent of his former self, Ridgewell is likely to be a handy acquisition for Northsiders.
He has no intent on playing at any higher level.
"I've got no rep ambitions," he said. "I just want to have fun and I will be away for five weeks at a time."
The Brothers junior has become a bit of a journeyman, even within Ipswich, having represented three different clubs.
But Ridgewell said he was only ever likely to play for Northsiders on his return.
"A lot of my mates are at Northsiders," he said.
"I always wanted to play there.
"It's a real good side. We'll see how it goes but we definitely look like finals material."
Ridgewell does not know if he will be picked in the top grade for Saturday's clash with ladder leaders Laidley at Jensen Oval.