Wright eyes all formats after signing new 'Canes, Tigers deal

Tasmanian right-hander determined to build on his greater consistency in 2023-24 to nail down a spot in all three formats

Mac Wright has set his sights on evolving into an all-format batter after signing a two-year extension with both Tasmania and Hobart Hurricanes.

Wright, who has been in and out of the Tigers and Hurricanes sides during his eight years in Tasmania, is coming off a career-best Big Bash season (202 runs at 25.25), playing eight of their 10 KFC BBL|13 matches after taking his opportunity with 63 off 36 balls at No.3 in their third game of the campaign.

But any red-ball opportunities with the Tigers will have to wait until next year with the 26-year-old currently recovering from a serious knee injury that brought his summer to a premature end in February.

Wright sustained an ACL injury during an innocuous fielding incident against Western Australia in the Tigers' final Marsh One-Day Cup of the season.

He underwent a successful knee reconstruction and is hoping to be back in action for the Hurricanes by Christmas this year.

"(I was) fielding a ball and I kind of like fumbled it a little bit and went to jump over the ball so I didn't step on it and my knee just sort of gave in and I heard a big crack," Wright said of the incident after his new contract was announced today.

"(There) wasn't any pain so I was a bit confused as to what happened, but it turned out it was a ruptured ACL.

"The first bit (of rehab) was pretty slow and tedious and quite painful but now I feel like I'm getting into a stage where I have a bit more of a strength focus and I feel a bit more functional now."

The right-hander will be looking to build on a mindset change he believes contributed to his greater consistency last season when he returns to the field in December.

Wright is attended to by medical staff after injuring his knee against WA // Getty

"I've kind of been a one- or two- game a season player, which is quite tough because when you do get a game, you're just filling in for someone and you never really feel like you have your spot cemented," Wright said.

"In the past I've gone about that a different way to how I did last season; (previously) I think I played very conservatively and hadn't really showcased what I felt I could do with my game, which I feel I do in club cricket.

"Whereas last season, I just took a bit of an approach saying, 'what have I got to lose here, I might as well actually show what I can do' and I played with a bit more freedom.

"Nathan Ellis as (the new Hurricanes) captain was huge for that.

"I've got quite a long relationship with Nathan having played club cricket with him at Lindisfarne.

"He knows what I can do, and he just emphasised for me to go out and play that way, so I really took a lot of confidence out of that.

"And I had some success playing that way and it actually resulted in me putting together a bit more of a season and being more of a regular in the team.

Wright goes on the attack against the Strikers last season // Getty

"But I still feel like there's so much for me to learn about my game and how to be successful at that level and turn those starts into being game-winning scores."

Wright moved to Tasmania as an 18-year-old on a rookie deal in 2016 after impressing with 132 for ACT/NSW Country against Tasmania in the under-17 national championships, making his List A debut for the Cricket Australia XI in 2017.

His first Marsh Cup game for the Tigers was in November 2019, scoring a century against NSW in his second match, which led to a first-class debut the following week.

Mac's Wright moves keep the Hurricanes rolling

He broke into the Hurricanes side the following month in BBL|09, hitting 70 in his second match against Melbourne Renegades in January 2020 and 64 in his third against Sydney Thunder three days' later.

While most of his opportunities since have come in the white-ball formats, including playing all seven of Tasmania's 50-over matches last season, Wright in determined to nail down a spot in Tasmania's Marsh Sheffield Shield top five.

"I definitely see myself as someone who can play across all formats and hopefully the powers above see me as that option," he said.

"The messaging I've got from the coaches over the past few years has been that they find my skill set can fit anywhere in the top five, which is positive but also it does kind of make it a bit more difficult trying to nail down a spot.

"I've opened in second XI cricket for years, I open in club cricket. But then the chances that I've had in the Sheffield Shield side have been more in that middle order at four or five.

"I'd be comfortable anywhere in the top five and in the position I'm in, I'd take whatever spot I could get that came my way and just try and make it my own through consistent performance.

"I just want to be a consistent player, someone the coaches and the team can rely on to play my role in each game.

"I'd love to be in the top three; I'd love to be batting a majority of innings and being a bit of an anchor, so that's going to be a bit of a focus."

Hobart Hurricanes head coach Jeff Vaughan also sees Wright in a similar role.

"His ability to bat through the innings, as well as possessing the skill and power to find the boundary, makes him an asset to the Hurricanes franchise," Vaughan said.

"He was massive for us last year when we were put under a lot of pressure at the top of the order.

"More importantly, Mac is a great character to have around the squad, he is the ultimate professional and is always willing to put the team before himself."

Hobart Hurricanes BBL|14 squad (so far): Tim David, Paddy Dooley, Nathan Ellis, Peter Hatzoglou, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Matthew Wade, Charlie Wakim, Mac Wright

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