Entering the final season of his Big Bash League contract with niggling shoulder issues, Adelaide Strikers batsman Jono Dean is approaching every game like it’s his last.
That’s nothing new for Dean, who always wants to make the most of every opportunity he gets.
Dean could come face to face with fellow ACT star Aiden Blizzard when the Strikers meet the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
Dean was fighting to be fit for the BBL having been sidelined for the bulk of the Cricket ACT competition this season with a shoulder injury.
But he showed no signs of the shoulder problems he has been managing for five years when he blasted 73 (retired) from 35 balls in a warm-up match against South on Tuesday.
It’s the ideal preparation for Dean as he looks to earn a contract extension with his current two-year deal set to expire following his fifth season at the Strikers.
“You try and approach every game like it’s your last, well that’s the way I approach it,” Dean said.
“It is the last year of my deal but who knows? Hopefully I can get an opportunity and do well, and see what happens from there.
“The shoulder is okay. It is what it is, I feel pretty good batting. I’ll be able to get through fielding no problems. It was nice to get some runs the other day, I haven’t played a lot of cricket recently.
“I haven’t played a heap of cricket so I’ve been doing a fair bit of work in the nets. It’s never like getting your confidence out in the middle so pretty happy to get a few runs on the board and go into [Friday’s] match feeling pretty good.
“If I play I play, if I don’t I’ll be running drinks pretty hard.”
Fellow Canberra product Nick Winter is in line to make his Strikers debut after jumping ship from the Melbourne Renegades this summer.
It opens the door for three Canberra players to play in the one fixture, the significance of which is not lost on Dean, who used to play alongside Winter for the ACT Comets.
The 33-year-old hopes the rare occasion will inspire the next wave of Canberra products to make their mark in one of the world’s leading Twenty20 competitions.
“I don’t know how often it’s happened in the past,” Dean said.
“There’s a number of guys playing in the BBL who have come through the Canberra system. I know it’s only me and Blizz [Blizzard] that are still in Canberra but it’s pretty exciting.
“Hopefully it can inspire someone from Canberra that wants to play in the Big Bash.
“It’s exciting for Canberra cricket to have a couple of Canberra guys out there playing in the Big Bash. Hopefully we can all get a game and all do well.”
If Dean gets his way he’ll be delivering Kookaburras into the stands all summer and the Strikers will be delivering him a new deal.