Little-known Tasmania speedster Andrew Fekete has been rewarded for a breakout Sheffield Shield season with selection in Australia’s squad for the Qantas tour of Bangladesh.
Fekete, 30, was a late bloomer, making his first-class debut for Tasmania only two seasons back after moving from Victoria, but it was the 2014-15 season in which he shot to prominence on the back of 37 wickets (average 24.1, strike-rate 48.1) – the most of any fast bowler in the Shield.
Quick Single: Fekete, Bancroft in Test squad
“The last 12 months has been a whirlwind,” Fekete said at a press conference at Blundstone Arena today.
“I guess it’s all been about opportunity. I tried to do the best I could for Tasmania and it’s snowballed from there.
“In Victoria I was in and around the group a little but didn’t get the opportunity to be contracted and be a full-time cricketer, which Tasmania gave me.
Very thrilled to have been included in the squad for Bangladesh. Thanks to everyone for their support and kind messages throughout the day!— Andrew Fekete (@andrewfekete) September 14, 2015
“I just wanted to see where I could get to and initially I was given a two-year contract and if at the end of that two years Tasmania said 'thanks very much and see you later', I still would have been pleased as I would have had a crack and got the best out of myself.”
Fekete's sensational Shield return earned the right-armer a call-up to the Australia A squad for the recent tour of India, where he took five wickets at 23.4 in two first-class matches against India A.
WATCH: Fekete impressed for Australia A
Previously, he had represented Victoria in the one-day game, debuting in February 2012, but it was the move to Tasmania that agreed with the consistent quick, who has played 18 first-class matches.
Fekete is the sole Tasmanian in the squad and even captain Steve Smith conceded he knew little about the unsung product.
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"I haven’t seen a great deal of him to be quite honest," Smith said. "I heard he bowled extremely well in India for the ‘A’ stuff there and there’s no doubt that the conditions are likely to be quite similar.
"I think he reverses the ball quite well and hopefully that will be one of our strengths that we’ll be able to do well in Bangladesh and he certainly provides that option."
WATCH: Fekete takes the Heat quiz
Picked up by the Brisbane Heat from the Melbourne Renegades in this season’s KFC Big Bash League, Fekete now has the chance to press his claims for a regular place in Australia’s Test squad ahead of the home summer.
With the likes of James Pattinson and Jason Behrendorff lacking sufficient bowling loads since their respective injuries to be considered, and the resting of star pacemen Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, Fekete’s nagging line and length has been enough to see him jump the lengthy queue of Australia’s fast bowlers.
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Australia's Test tour of Bangladesh begins with a tour match on October 3, which is followed by two Tests, beginning October 9 and October 17.