Irish eye Worrall, but Frankie's focus is Aussie recall
Adelaide Strikers' new signing Daniel Worrall hopes moving Big Bash clubs to spend all summer in the South Australian program will take his game to new heights
9 September 2020, 02:18 PM AEST
Following his involvement in a rare KFC Big Bash League player trade, Daniel Worrall won't rule out the prospect of an even more significant swap by joining the exclusive club of cricketers to have represented two countries at international level.
Worrall, who played three ODIs for Australia during a limited overs campaign in South Africa in 2016, is eligible to represent both Ireland and England courtesy of his Irish-born mother and British-born father.
That family connection to the United Kingdom has enabled Worrall to play in the county competition, most recently with Gloucestershire but previously at Leicestershire when Ireland's keeper-batter Niall O'Brien was also at Grace Road.
But while the 29-year-old swing bowler – whose switch to the Adelaide Strikers from the Melbourne Stars was formally announced this week – wants to add to his international playing experience, he will not pursue his northern hemisphere alternatives while there's still a chance to represent Australia.
While the England option remains unlikely given their surfeit of seamers, Worrall confirmed he has received an informal approach from Irish cricket authorities who keep a keen eye on the global cricket diaspora who meet international eligibility criteria.
Despite losing Dublin-born World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan to England, Ireland have successfully lured home England representatives Ed Joyce and Boyd Rankin (born in Northern Ireland) in recent years.
During the recent ODI series against England, Ireland also handed 21-year-old Curtis Campher his international debut after the Johannesburg-born allrounder had represented South Africa at under-19 level.
Former WA keeper-batter Luke Ronchi was the most recent Australia representative to play for another country when he turned out for New Zealand in 2013, while the previous Australia Test player to do so was Kepler Wessels who returned to his native South Africa when they were re-integrated into world cricket in 1991.
"They've definitely made contact, just to let me know they've noticed I'm Irish," Worrall said when asked if he had spoken with Cricket Ireland.
"But they do that with a lot of the guys in Australia and around the world who do have (Irish) passports.
"So good on them for being proactive, and they're playing some nice cricket and playing Test cricket now as well (since 2018).
"It's not something I'm seriously thinking about at the moment.
"Maybe one day when there's a line through my name in the Australian set-up, I might think about it.
"But my main goal at the moment is to win games for South Australia and the Strikers, and then play for Australia."
He might not be ready to give up on his international aspirations in Australia, but the Melbourne-born swing bowler felt that after eight years with the Stars it was time for a change of environment and personnel, as well as a fresh challenge.
Not that Adelaide is unfamiliar to Worrall, who has played for the West End Redbacks in the Marsh Sheffield Shield and One-Day Cup competitions since 2012.
However, he cited his new Strikers teammate and former Australia Test quick Peter Siddle as someone from whom he is keen to learn how to expand his skills set from new-ball bowler (which he predominantly been with the Stars) to an all-purpose attacking option throughout the 20-over game.
"It does swing a bit more at Adelaide Oval, so that's something to look forward to as a swing bowler," Worrall said.
"As we saw with Sidds, (he) has up-skilled really well in the last five years to great up front, in the middle or at the death.
"So it will be a good opportunity to learn from him, how he goes about, and potentially be flexible and be used however I'm needed in the team.
"It's been eight years at the Stars – eight of the best years of my life, to be honest.
"But I was looking for a new challenge at this stage of my career, and thought it would be a great opportunity to come back to Adelaide and perform in front of a great home crowd at Adelaide Oval."
Worrall's shift to the BBL|07 champions means he will also spend the entire Australia summer under the tutelage of Strikers coach Jason Gillespie, who was also recently appointed to lead the Redbacks.
After an injury interrupted start to last season due to a recurrence of stress fractures in his back, Worrall made a triumphant return to Shield ranks last February and bowled SA to their first win at Adelaide Oval in three years.
Even before the global COVID19 pandemic put paid to Australia players' involvement in UK county cricket, Worrall was planning to spend the southern winter at home in Adelaide where he has been working hard on fitness and is eagerly awaiting Gillespie's return from his coaching role at Sussex.
"I haven't had much to do with Dizzy yet," he said of his fellow fast bowler-turned-mentor.
"But from all reports he's a great operator and a good man manager, and I think that's really important especially in Twenty20 cricket to get everyone firing at the right time.
"So it will be exciting working with him firstly as a quick, and also as one of his players."