D'Arcy Short has known for months that he'd be touring the United Kingdom this winter – he just didn't think it'd be with Australia's one-day international side.
The powerful left-hander was originally named captain of men's Indigenous squad for their historic trip to England that concluded this week, which commemorated the sesquicentenary of the 1868 tour.
While his Aboriginal teammates following in the footsteps of Australia's first-ever sporting team to travel abroad missed him, none would begrudge Short for his remarkable ascension to national colours.
After blasting a record 504 runs during last summer's Big Bash for the Hobart Hurricanes, Short vaulted into the national T20 side to become the sixth cricketer of Indigenous descent to play for Australia.
A monster $A755,000 Indian Premier League deal followed, as did a national contract, as fellow opener David Warner's suspension from international cricket paved the way for his ODI debut in Cardiff on Saturday.
It was fitting that Justin Langer, close by in Australia's tight knit huddle as Adam Gilchrist presented Short with ODI cap No.226, was on hand as the national side's new head mentor.
Few people have had a bigger impact on Short's progression than Langer.
After making his List A debut with Western Australia in 2011, Short spent five years out of professional cricket before receiving some blunt – and now famous - advice from the then Warriors coach.
"Everyone has been telling me you are a fat kid from Gosnells, you are lazy and have a mediocre work ethic," Langer recalled saying to Short.
"But if you can find some discipline, come to training and do the right things, we will see if we can give you a go."
That message had come after former Victoria and Tasmania coach Greg Shipperd, a trusted mentor of Ricky Ponting during his playing days, had phoned Langer raving about Short's talent. Shipped had watched Short, playing for an Indigenous side against Australia A, smash James Pattinson on to a grand stand roof.
By 2016, Short had shed 15 kilograms – he’d heard Langer’s message loud and clear.
He made his Big Bash debut later that year for the Hobart Hurricanes after coach Damien Wright took a flyer on the Katherine-born batsman.
Within a little more than 12 months, Short was opening alongside Warner for the national T20 side and was in a club started by pioneering Indigenous former quick Faith Thomas before being joined by Jason Gillespie, Dan Christian, Scott Boland and Ashleigh Gardner.
"I take pride in (being Indigenous), always reverting back to where I've come from," Short told cricket.com.au earlier this year.
"I’d like to think that when Indigenous kids see us playing together in the Big Bash, it sends a message that they can achieve anything they set their minds to with self-belief," he added in a Players Voice piece.
Cricket Australia believes Short's story can be inspiration for other budding young Indigenous cricketers.
CA chief executive James Sutherland has acknowledged the game has previously not been proactive enough in doing its bit to promote the game in the Indigenous community and the organisation has increased its commitment in recent years.
This year's commemorative tour, as well as Short's debut, is a testament to those efforts.
"At the highest level we would love to see Indigenous talent coming through and really knocking on the door for Australian selection," Sutherland said last year.
"Jason Gillespie was the last one to wear the Baggy Green cap and we would love to see (another) Indigenous Australian man or woman come through to the Test stage."