It appears Ben Dunk has settled in after making the move from tropical north Queensland to arctic Tasmania twelve months ago.
The aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman made his debut for the Queensland Bulls in 2009/10. Playing in the T20 Big Bash, the rookie made the most of his opportunity, bludgeoning 140 runs for the competition off just 99 deliveries.
Dunk saved his best for the preliminary final clash with the Victoria Bushrangers, plundering an unbeaten 70 (40). Only he and Chris Simpson struck at better than a run a ball as the Bushrangers snuck home with seven balls to spare.
His first Sheffield Shield match lasted all of 31 overs thanks to Queensland’s inclement weather.
Despite limited game time for the Bulls, Dunk still had his highlights. Opening the batting in their Ryobi Cup clash at the WACA, Dunk played the finest innings of his life to single-handedly reel in Western Australia’s 229. Receiving very little support from his teammates, Dunk went after the bowling, blazing an unbeaten 115 off 124 deliveries. It remains his only century in domestic cricket.
Dunk decided to move to Tasmania in 2012/13 to chase more opportunities. Thankfully for him, an injury to Tim Paine ensured he would be the first choice keeper for most of the season.
He started his Tigers’ life with scores of 49 and 57 in the Futures League, before destroying South Australia with 210* and seven catches at the Adelaide Oval.
An injury to Paine handed Dunk his Tasmanian debut 16 days later. His 45 and 34 against the Redbacks was followed up by 97 against the Warriors at home.
A drop of form after that, coupled with Paine’s return, meant he missed out on the Shield final.
The 26 year old has proven that he is a more than capable first-class cricketer. The left-hander was a surprising omission from the KFC T20 Big Bash League last season, and would be a handy acquisition for any of the franchises next year.