Lloyd Pope, the young Australian leg-spinner, sparkled in Sydney Sixers' victory over Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League on Sunday, 20 January, taking key wickets of Jimmy Peirson and Brendon McCullum to earn his team a 79-run win.
After going without a wicket in his first couple of games, Pope had been dropped. But he was excellent on his comeback, foxing Peirson with dip to have him stumped, and then getting rid of the dangerous McCullum.
Pope, who turned 19 recently, had risen to prominence after his spell of 8/35 against England in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2018 in New Zealand last year.
He made waves again with figures of 7/87 in just his second Sheffield Shield game, becoming the youngest in the competition's 126-year history to take seven wickets in an innings.
Now, he's making his presence felt in T20s as well, and given his rapid growth, he might don the national colours for the senior team sooner rather than later. And that is exactly what Pope is hoping for.
"I don't know how far I will go but I definitely would love to play for Australia in all three formats," he said after play on Sunday.
"That's every young cricketer's dream and I'm going to try my absolute hardest to get there. I have to work on a lot of things - all three facets."
Pope is still in his formative years and is keen to learn the tricks of the trade from some of the best. This season, he's been working with Sixers team-mate Steve O'Keefe, the left-arm spinner who has played 16 internationals for Australia.
"We've been working on a couple things in the nets, working on pace and length and things," said Pope.
"I really tried to work that out. My run-up is a little bit longer and stuff like that – I don't know if you guys notice it. But it felt like a big change for me and it worked tonight."
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