Hobart Hurricanes fast bowler Aaron Summers was a complete unknown until he was clocked at 150 kilometres per hour in his Big Bash League debut.
He had come from outside Hobart’s top squad, but that’s not the biggest twist. Had things gone differently, Summers could have been an ACT Comet this summer.
The 21-year-old played one first grade game for ANU in the Cricket ACT competition last season in the midst of a two-week training stint with the Comets in March.
Instead of playing for ANU in last weekend’s John Gallop Cup final, Summers was turning heads for Hobart against the Melbourne Renegades at Bellerive Oval on Thursday night.
Summers was playing second grade cricket in Melbourne last season and sought an opportunity in Canberra, before ultimately landing a rookie contract with Tasmania.
“Randall Starr [from ANU] had been talking to me for a year and a bit, trying to get me over to Canberra,” Summers said.
“I thought while I was in Melbourne there was no better time to drive up and have a look at Canberra because I’d obviously never been, and meet Randall.
“I got invited down to train with the Comets for the two weeks I was up [in Canberra]. I thought I might as well have a look and see what was going on, see if there was anything for me for the future.
“Luke Butterworth was coaching so I trained with them for two weeks to have a look, see how I fit in and see if there was anything for me because obviously I hadn’t played Futures League cricket at that stage and I was looking for somewhere to get an opportunity.”
Summers became ANU’s fourth representative to play in the Big Bash League, following in the footsteps of Brad Haddin, Aiden Blizzard and Aaron Ayre.
He found himself bowling to Marcus Harris – his club teammate at St Kilda last season, although back then Summers could only manage a game in second grade.
The 21-year-old hit the 151 kilometres per hour mark, showing the same speed that impressed former n fast bowler Ryan Harris at the National Cricket Centre in June.
His radar was often skewed as he finished with 0-31 from three overs but Summers is still raw, having only started cricket as a teenager and dabbling in baseball at the same time.
Now Summers, who has also played club cricket in the Northern Territory, has mapped out a plan to set the record straight.
“Obviously nine more games of the Big Bash, I hope to play as much of them as I can,” Summers said.
“As soon as that finishes my focus will be back on playing four-day cricket and hopefully Shield cricket towards the end of the summer for Tasmania.
“[My BBL debut] was a bit easier with a home crowd and obviously a home ground, I’d bowled there at training. You try to block out the noise and back yourself to do what you’ve done so many times before.”