The perspective aiding Boyce in Strikers’ lead role

Adelaide leg-spinner says he hasn't felt any extra pressure this season despite the absence of Rashid Khan

Cameron Boyce has been around the Big Bash for longer than most – 12 seasons in fact – but even he still has those ‘pinch yourself’ moments.

Having experienced both the highs and lows of professional sport – including missing a full season due to his health and being cut by the Melbourne Renegades on the final day of the BBL|11 season before going out and taking a double hat-trick just hours later – the seasoned leg-spinner has found a renewed appreciation at his original KFC BBL club.

And it's the perspective of being a dad for the other nine months of the year he says has allowed him to fully take in playing at the "best stadiums" against the "best players in the world".

Now back at the Adelaide Strikers where his BBL career started in 2012-13, Boyce played second fiddle to superstar spinner Rashid Khan last summer, with all six of his BBL|12 appearances coming after the Afghan leggie had left for a rival T20 league.

Boyce bowls in the Strikers' big win over the Scorchers last week // Getty

But on the eve of this current season, the 34-year-old was suddenly thrust into to the limelight as the leader of the Strikers spin attack when it was revealed Rashid would miss the entire BBL|13 campaign to undergo back surgery.

And while the team started slowly, slipping to 1-4 and last on the BBL|13 standings, Boyce was exceptional.

As the rest of the Adelaide attack struggled for consistency, conceding three scores of 200 runs or more – which head coach Jason Gillespie said today meant they've had to reshape their bowling line-up – Boyce has been operating at an outstanding economy rate of 6.88 for the season.

He was also at the forefront as the Strikers surged back into finals contention with two straight wins over the Scorchers and Hurricanes to lift themselves into fifth, just one point outside the top four with two games to play.

Against the Scorchers he claimed the big wicket of Laurie Evans (coming off a blistering 28-ball 85 not out against them two nights earlier) before an outstanding return of 2-13 from four overs with 13 dot balls in their five-wicket win over the Hurricanes last night, where he also claimed his 100th BBL wicket with the stumping of Nikhil Chaudhary.

So, if he's felt any pressure to fill Rashid's shoes, he hasn't shown it, nor let it impact his performance.

"'Rash' is an amazing talent, we all know what he can do," Boyce told Fox Cricket following a player of the match performance against the Hurricanes.

"Everyone keeps talking about Rash not being here and me stepping up but I just back my own game and back my own skills."

He and Rashid are both vastly different leg-spinners too – Boyce deploys a more traditional ball flight with an average speed in the low 80kph range, while Rashid is of the faster, flatter variety with an average speed roughly 15kph quicker.

"Given my age I am now, I've been playing since BBL|02, and I understand the highs and lows of this sport and Big Bash cricket in particular," Boyce said.

"Two years ago, I missed a season because of my health and then back to Adelaide where it started for me.

"I just try and stick to my game plan and being a dad for nine months of that gives you a bit of perspective as well; I just enjoy playing and making my girls proud.

"Now sitting back and having a look at it, I guess when I do finish, it'll be pretty cool to say I played against some of the best players in the world."

Boyce said T20 cricket was such a fickle game where momentum was huge.

"Once you get it, you've got to run with it," he said.

Carey's lightning glovework hands Boyce two in a row

"Now we have it, we've just got to try and make it last as long as we can.

"It's always good to have momentum at the back end of tournaments, so that's what we're building towards now.

"The batters have been flying for us for the first eight games that we played so we know that if we can get our bowling in order, which we have the last two games, then we'll challenge the best teams."

With three wins and a washout from their eight games, victory for the Strikers in their return clash with the Hurricanes in Hobart tomorrow would see them jump the Stars into the top four.

"We identified a couple of key areas that we weren't as sharp as we could have been," Gillespie said.

"We needed to sharpen up a little bit with our bowling … and those changes were made.

"It's always a tricky one, you want to back and support players, but ultimately the results weren't what we wanted so we needed to make a change and see if we could do something a little bit differently.

"The last couple of games we've used more spin than we did earlier in the tournament and that seems to have worked."

KFC BBL|13 standings

Matches played
No results
Net Run Rate
Total points
1 Brisbane Heat Men Brisbane Heat Men HEA 10 7 1 0 2 0.972 0 16
2 Sydney Sixers Men Sydney Sixers Men SIX 10 6 2 0 2 0.339 0 14
3 Perth Scorchers Men Perth Scorchers Men SCO 10 6 3 0 1 0.725 0 13
4 Adelaide Strikers Men Adelaide Strikers Men STR 10 5 4 0 1 0.331 0 11
5 Hobart Hurricanes Men Hobart Hurricanes Men HUR 10 4 6 0 0 -0.268 0 8
6 Melbourne Stars Men Melbourne Stars Men STA 10 4 6 0 0 -1.051 0 8
7 Melbourne Renegades Men Melbourne Renegades Men REN 10 2 6 0 2 -0.288 0 6
8 Sydney Thunder Men Sydney Thunder Men THU 10 1 7 0 2 -0.652 0 4

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

T: Ties

N/R: No results

NRR: Net Run Rate

Ded.: Deductions

PTS: Total points

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