Qantas Tour of NZ 2018
Tye at home, delivering on Aussie stage
From laying timber to hitting it, the Scorchers and Australia paceman has enjoyed a dramatic change of fortunes in recent years
Louis Cameron Sydney
1 February 2018, 05:39 PM AEST
Had things panned out a little differently, Australia's new death-bowling specialist Andrew Tye might have still been earning a crust installing timber flooring.
In 2012, Tye had all but given up his dream of becoming a professional cricketer, having struggled to rise above club cricket ranks both in Western Australia and the United Kingdom.
Five summers on, the 31-year-old is an overnight millionaire (on Sunday, Indian Premier League club Kings XI Punjab won a three-way bidding war to claim him for roughly $AUD 1.4million) and one of Australia's senior bowlers for the upcoming Gillette T20 tri-series.
Instead of laying the foundations for Perth living rooms, Tye is putting the building blocks in place for Australia's planned resurgence in the shortest format.
"I'm not too sure really," Tye said when asked what he'd be doing if it wasn't for his blossoming cricket career. "I used to do timber flooring so I'd probably still be doing that.
"It's been a whirlwind tour from four or five years ago when I wasn't even a professional.
"(It's) unbelievable and a dream come true.
"I'd pretty much given up (on playing professionally). I'd lived in the UK for 18 months and then came home, just enjoyed playing club cricket.
"I got a chance to bowl at the Scorchers and got put into a development squad and just went from there I guess."
Since Justin Langer took over as WA and Perth Scorchers coach all those years ago, Tye's limited-overs career has been on a steady incline. The right-armer has pocketed 53 wickets in 35 KFC Big Bash League games at just 18.05 over the past four seasons and at an economy rate of 7.21.
Called up to the national T20 side in 2016 on the back of those efforts, Tye initially found the going tougher at international level. He conceded 51 in his second game against India and while he was part of Australia's squad for the World T20 soon after, he failed to play a game.
But while Australia were crushed 4-1 by England in the recent Gillette ODI series, Tye was a shining light, snaring eight wickets in the final two matches and claiming his maiden five-wicket haul at the new Optus Stadium.
Now, he feels like he belongs.
"After my first couple of cracks at playing for Australia, especially in T20 format, I had doubts about myself and my game," he said.
"We came up against really good opposition and I probably wasn't as experienced and was putting too much pressure on myself.
"That's all part of the experience and part of the learning curve.
"The guys around me this time have been unbelievable, very welcoming. I've had a bit better communication which I was keen to come in and initiate myself. That's really helped.
"To be able to feel comfortable and know that coming into the program I've done it consistently now over several seasons of Big Bash helps a lot."
Climbing up the International Cricket Council's T20 rankings from a lowly seventh remains a major priority for Australia.
Along with Kane Richardson, Tye looks set to lead an Australia attack missing three of its most potent weapons in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. The trio are resting for the upcoming Qantas Test tour of South Africa, having featured extensively in the Magellan Ashes and ensuing 50-over series against England.
Billy Stanlake and Ben Dwarshuis make up the remainder of Australia's T20 fast-bowling group and are coming off strong BBL campaigns, while Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar are the two spinners in the squad.
"'Richo' and I are probably the senior bowlers in this group," said Tye.
"Billy has showed that he can do it, Ben Dwarshuis had an unbelievable Big bash.
"The confidence within the group is high. We can't fault that, we'll be doing everything we can.”
A quirky character, Tye is rarely seen in his Australia or Scorchers uniform without a pair of colourful socks pulled up to his shins.
"That's just me, I'm pretty outgoing," he explains. "I just try to brighten people's days up I guess."
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21