Jack returns from Big Bash with two more winning goals
FRESH from an "awesome'' experience with Brisbane Heat, Jack Wood is refocusing on two major cricketing goals.
One is building on his Queensland Bulls Sheffield Shield prospects, having received his first state contract last year.
His second ambition is helping the Ipswich Hornets qualify for this year's Queensland Premier Grade final series.
So it was hardly surprising the loyal Laidley-bred all-rounder was eager to rejoin the Hornets after being released from the Brisbane Heat Big Bash League bubble.
"I was very keen to play some cricket,'' Wood said, having lined up in only one Heat game as a replacement player.
Wood, 24, made his BBL debut for the Heat against the Melbourne Stars in Canberra on December 11.
Since then, he has trained with the squad and performed support duties on the Heat's path to qualifying for Friday night's BBL-10 elimination final against the Strikers at the Gabba.
While he would love to be displaying his left-arm wrist-spinning talents in that game, Wood was happy to savour everything being involved with the Heat.
"They were all good,'' he said of the players and how they assisted him.
"I'm close mates with Lachy Pfeffer from Valleys so we sort of stayed pretty close.
"You soak it up and you just naturally get better just being in that environment.''
Wood rated bowling to Heat's six-smashing captain Chris Lynn as among the highlights that "massively'' helped his cricket development.
"Just bowling to that sort of standard of player every day you naturally get better,'' Wood said.
"You find yourself leaning into the net trying to dodge the ball some times.
"It was a very good experience.''
The former Ipswich Grammar School student also got to experience being in the middle of major venues like Marvel Stadium (Melbourne) and at the Gold Coast and Canberra, in addition to the Gabba.
"Marvel was pretty awesome,'' Wood said.
"There wasn't much of a crowd when we were there but it was a pretty special place to play.''
Wood returned to the Hornets for the second day of their latest Queensland Premier Grade competition win over Scorchers.
He was thrilled to see captain Anthony Wilson (135 not out) and wicketkeeper Jake Cross (81) feature in a record-breaking 171 run seventh-wicket stand that guided the Hornets to victory.
Wood will continue his Hornets commitments in Saturday's next match against Redlands at Walker Oval.
However, his thoughts weren't too far away from progressing his higher level cricket career.
The electrician has scaled back his work commitments to one day a week with a supportive mate, while maintaining his daily training at Allan Border Field with what's left of the Queensland Bulls squad.
Wood is yet to make his Bulls debut having lined up for the QAS last season.
He is hoping to receive an opportunity in a Sheffield Shield game after the Big Bash League finishes.
"Hopefully we can get the Hornies (Hornets) into finals cricket again (after making last year's grand final),'' Wood said.
"It's a pretty exciting time of the year and hopefully the Bulls Shield season is on and we can get hold of the trophy and win the Shield.''