Sean Abbott picked up two wickets in his first match for Australia in five years, celebrating his return with a Twenty20 International series win against Pakistan.
Abbott, 27, enjoyed the pace on the Perth surface to scalp Imam-ul-Haq and Imad Wasim, finishing with an impressive 2/14 in the hosts' 10-wicket win in the third and final match on Friday, 8 November. He was named Player of the Match.
The result left him "over the moon" and with his "head in the clouds", grateful to all those who stood by him during a difficult few years, he told cricket.com.au.
"It's a bit of a cliche but I've dreamt about it for a long time," he said. "I lost belief there for a while but it’s good to run out with my mates tonight and get the series win against the world's best T20 team."
The pace bowler said off-field concerns, including illnesses among his family and friends, proved to be an added motivator when the chips were down.
I was having a bit of a lean patch, and my mum said, 'the next ball is the first ball of the rest of your career'.
"My mum said to me once – I was having a bit of a lean patch, and she said, 'the next ball is the first ball of the rest of your career'," Abbott explained, adding that his mother was in tears at his inclusion in the match. "I've been trying not to roll out too many cliches and one-liners, but that one has helped me."
With the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 a year away, he declared himself "ready" to be a part of the hosts' T20 squad, but was wary about looking too far ahead.
"Hopefully it's the start of something great," he said. "Hopefully I get some more opportunities in this team because it’s a bloody good team to be a part of."
Justin Langer, the Australia coach, was one of those delighted for Abbott's success. Describing the bowler as an "unbelievable athlete", Langer told presspersons, "We talk about playing a high-energy, high-octane style of play in white-ball cricket, fast between the wickets, agile in the field, good throwing, and he provides all that.
"He’s a great athlete, he's got very, very good numbers and he's also a very, very nice young bloke. It's a pretty good combination and he fits nicely into our squad because of that."
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