Renewed pace means Tye’s time not up

A focus on increasing his speed in recent years has paid dividends for Andrew Tye, and the 36-year-old has no plans to hang up the spikes

While Andrew Tye jokes the speed gun may have been broken when he hit 151.2kph, he has no doubt his renewed need for speed has been imperative to sustained T20 success.

After becoming renowned for his 'knuckle ball' and changes of pace that he admits contributed to "losing a little bit of zip", Tye made it his mission in the 2020 off-season to increase his ball speed to stop batters treating him like a spinner.

It's no surprise then that he's since enjoyed his three most prolific seasons in the KFC BBL, with 21 wickets in 2020-21 only bettered by 25 both in 2021-22 and so far in this campaign.

And last night he celebrated his 100th match in the competition in style with 1-39 as Perth Scorchers romped to a seven-wicket victory to seal their eighth appearance in a BBL Final.

Scorchers overcome early wobble to progress to Final

"It was a necessary change at that time that I needed," Tye told after the match.

"I felt that batsmen were starting to sweat on me because I didn't have the pace to worry them when I bowled my on-speed ball, so they'd just play me as a spinner, like a slow bowler.

"It was a change that I needed to make and somehow it managed to work and I got that ball speed back up to 140kph.

"(Batters) can't sit on my off-pace balls because I've now got a bit of pace that can hurry them and I can use my bouncer, it's a bit more effective with a bit more pace.

"It's helped me keep going and hopefully my body allows me to keep going as well."

The 36-year-old says his younger training age compared to his actual age is another factor to his longevity in the game, with a later start to his career meaning the strict regimes of being a professional athlete haven't yet caught up with his body as much.

"I didn't start professionally until I was 26 so before that I wasn't doing any heavy weights, I wasn't doing any big running sessions … I'm lucky my training age is still quite young," Tye said.

"A lot of the guys coming through that have been in the system since they were 16, 17 and 18, their training age probably hurts their body a little bit earlier than it does with mine.

"That plays a part in it, but I just find I'm having lots of fun and enjoying it, so why stop?"

And despite being closer to the end of his career than the start, the competition's second-leading wicket-taker of all-time says he's still looking to improve, and if given the opportunity for a full lead-in to a BBL season he may be able to get those average speeds even higher into the 140s.

Tye will be looking to just keep bowling throughout the winter following BBL|12 and Western Australia's Marsh One-Day Cup campaign too, putting his name up for both an England T20 Blast stint and The Hundred draft, while also hoping for a late gig as a replacement player in the Indian Premier League.

"I'll just try and keep playing and keep the body ticking over, it's the long spells of not bowling that hurts me the most so I'll just keep bowling all year round as much as I can," Tye said.

"Through this Big Bash I think we've done about three gym sessions just with how the schedule is and how taxing our travel has been."

The Scorchers are set to be without Jhye Richardson (hamstring injury) and Lance Morris (national duties) for next Saturday's decider at Perth Stadium but Tye says one of the most pleasing things about their group was that they weren't leaving it up to the same players every game.

"(Cameron) Bancroft, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis have been in great form; Hards and Ingo missed out tonight but Bangers (Bancroft) and AT (Ashton Turner) stepped up," he said.

"Then with the ball (David) Payne put in an excellent spell and 'Dorff' (Jason Behrendorff) does what he does and got us off to an excellent start.

"So it's a very comforting position to be in that we've got a plethora of bowlers that we can just call upon and they just rock in and do their job."

The Scorchers will face the winner of Thursday night's Challenger final between the Sixers and the winner of tonight's Renegades-Heat Knockout clash for a shot at a fifth BBL title next Saturday.