Tasmania is renowned for producing quality all-rounders, and the current crop of players filtering through the system is certainly testament to that. In Luke Butterworth and James Faulkner, the Tigers boast a dynamic duo more than capable of winning them titles.
Butterworth made his first-class debut in the 2006/07 Pura Cup season, and although he enjoyed limited opportunities, he was included in the squad to take on NSW in the final.
From virtual obscurity, Butterworth was named man of the match as his side crushed the highly fancied Blues. Entering the match without a half-century to his name, Butterworth smashed 66 in the first innings, before compiling 106 in a second innings master-class. His four NSW wickets also helped turn the match, sealing the state’s first ever four day trophy.
More known for his bowling, Butterworth finished his debut season with 23 scalps, which included four wicket hauls on four separate occasions.
For the next few years, Butterworth was always there or thereabouts, but his career never kicked on like many thought it would.
Yet in the 2012/13 season, Butterworth sensationally returned to form with easily his best run for the Tigers.
He claimed five-wicket hauls in both Shield games against Western Australia, and picked up another bagful in his side’s high scoring draw with NSW.
Impressively, it was in the Shield final that Butterworth once again stepped up to produce his best cricket.
Batting at number nine, Butterworth turned a likely score of around 340 into 419 with his highest score of the season (86). The patient knock helped take plenty of time off the clock as Tasmania played for the draw. He then picked up three wickets for the match as the Tigers once again lifted the title on the back of a Luke Butterworth inspired performance.
Although he didn’t feature in any Ryobi Cup matches last season, Butterworth should return to the limited-overs side with fellow all-rounder James Faulkner likely to be away on national duty.