Ben McDermott has re-committed to the Hobart Hurricanes, signing a two-year contract extension that takes him to the end of BBL|13, hoping for greater post-season success with a more settled team.
After finishing up the BBL|10 season in sixth place and missing out on finals due to their net run rate, the Hurricanes are shaping up to create a more structured list and squad, determined to go deep into the playoffs yet again.
Seeing the potential to stay in Hobart and continue to wear purple, right-handed batsman McDermott is the latest player to ink a new deal with the franchise, one that sees him through to 2024.
His re-signing is the latest in a major flurry of players to put pen to paper for the Hurricanes. Earlier in the week, fellow Aussies Matthew Wade and Nathan Ellis re-signed with the club while Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane also returns to the fold.
“Obviously [I’ve] been here [at Hobart] for a long time now and coming in until 2024’s really good and [it’s] good to see a few of the other boys recommitting as well so it’s a good group we’ve got”, McDermott told media on Thursday.
Although he missed the opening two games of last season’s BBL due to Australia A commitments, McDermott made an impact from the moment he did join. He was later named to the BBL|10 Team of the Tournament due to his form, receiving votes from each of the eight BBL coaches.
Throughout BBL|10 he struck 402 runs – top-scoring at the Hurricanes – at an average of 36.54 and a strike rate of 139.58, his highest score of 96 runs off 54 balls coming against the Sydney Thunder.
“Last year was a good season for me personally, but it was a bit of a heartbreaker with it ending like that,” he said.
“We are a good team and we had some good performances last year, but unfortunately just couldn’t get over the line at the pointy end of the season.”
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McDermott is hoping for greater confidence and consistency in the squad for the upcoming season, trying to keep a core group together for the majority of the year.
“We’ve mixed and matched around with the top order a little bit and I think we’ve got that set,” he says.
“Hopefully we get Wadey (Matthew Wade) for the whole summer this time. I think that’s a good mix with D’Arcy [Short] and Wadey up top and hopefully, I’ll lock in [the number] three [position] again.
“Just keep that consistency again, consistency through the middle and I think we’ll see that with Tim David developing really nicely as well so I think we’re brewing up nicely and hopefully we can go one more step.”
The Queeslander – who’s at his third BBL club – says he’s well and truly settled in the Apple Isle. He further reiterated the belief that the list they’re building has the potential to win the franchise’s first championship, despite certain players’ international commitments in the lead-up to the tournament.
“I think we’ve got a fully fit squad at the moment. I’m pretty sure with availability, obviously, there’s a T20 World Cup going on in the next few months or so but I think from a Big Bash perspective, that’s not going to affect us too much, the international schedule… so [it’s] pretty much a full-strength squad.”
Reflecting on his recent time away with the national squad for tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh, McDermott felt honoured in receiving the chance to play for his country which including making his One Day debut. It was a series though where injuries amounted and limited his ability to play a full campaign but an experience that he hopes improves his chances for selection going forward.
“Starting off with the West Indies, [I] started in that T20 side and the One Day side and got injured both times so two injuries coming out of that wasn’t very good but going to Bangladesh was good also,” McDermott mentioned.
“I probably wouldn’t get these opportunities if it wasn’t for bubble fatigue or things like that. So [Marcus] Stoinis and [David] Warner and [Glenn] Maxwell and all those guys pulling out has probably given me a chance.
“Like I said, I probably wouldn’t get those opportunities if it wasn’t for [that] so I’ve got to embrace and it try and do the best I can when I get those opportunities.”
The Hobart Hurricanes begin their BBL|11 campaign against the Sydney Sixers on Wednesday December 8 at the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston.
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