'Mr Bean' sprouts into prized recruit
Depending on who you ask, Harry Gurney is either the best death bowler in the world or a battling fourth-grader, but the unassuming Englishman is eyeing a return to Australian shores
18 February 2019, 05:15 PM AEST
Mark Waugh labelled him a "left-arm Mr Bean" and said his bowling style was reminiscent of a fourth-grader, but Big Bash champion Harry Gurney hopes his Melbourne Renegades stint isn't the last Australia has seen of him.
Twenty20 veteran Dan Christian reckons Gurney is the best death bowler he's ever played with and the clever paceman again delivered in the Gades' remarkable KFC BBL triumph, conceding just 20 runs from his four overs in the Stars' stunning final implosion.
The 32-year-old quick is out of contract for next season, but after going at just 7.17 an over in nine games bowling primarily at the death and in the powerplay, he's hopeful the Renegades will have him back next summer.
Beyond that, he also has one eye on next year's T20 World Cup to be held in Australia.
While Gurney hasn't played for England since 2014, the likes of Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer and Joe Denly have all enhanced their reputations back home with standout BBL campaigns in recent years.
Quality stuff from 'The Accountant' @gurneyhf as he got the job done for the @RenegadesBBL in the #BBLFinal! pic.twitter.com/PYYE2YlbbZ— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 17, 2019
"I'd absolutely love to (return to the Renegades)," Gurney told cricket.com.au. "I love Australia. It's a great place.
"The Big Bash is a really good show. It's been really special. You'll have to ask the coach and the director of cricket if they want me back.
"(England selection) is not something I devote a huge amount of thought to. But there is a (T20) World Cup here in (the northern) autumn next year so I intend to spend the next few months just playing as much T20 cricket as I can around the world.
"If the call comes from England, then that would be amazing. If not, I'm pretty happy with the career I've had and I'm excited for the next two or three years anyway."
Gurney has made a career of flying under the radar and took Waugh's comments in the spirit in which they were intended.
"I've often over the years referred to myself as a professional cricketer playing within a 50-year-old accountant's body," Gurney, who holds a degree in economics, said with a smile.
"I'm not the most athletic, I think I've had some strength and conditioning coaches tear their hair out over the years with me.
"There probably would be a few accountants playing fourth-grade cricket, so it's probably a fair assessment."
My thoughts: - People have been calling me Mr Bean for years, I think it’s likely he would be a better batter than me. - Mr Bean did actually rock up for Bankstown... 1st grade though and got 5fer most weeks. - Mr Bean has got a @BBL winners medal. @juniorwaugh349 😉 https://t.co/rFKGFBHB3u— Harry Gurney (@gurneyhf) February 17, 2019
On commentary for Fox Cricket, Waugh had said that Gurney is "the sort of player, if he rocked up to play fourth grade for Bankstown and you watched him bowl you'd say, 'Yeah okay, we'll give him another game'."
But, as Gurney pointed out on social media, the left-armer actually played for Waugh's former Sydney Premier Cricket side Bankstown back in 2012-13 – in the first XI, not the fourths, collecting 27 wickets at 14 in only eight games.
Waugh had clarified that his comments related more to Gurney's appearance than his bowling, later congratulating him on the win and called him an "excellent short form bowler".
Harry looks can be deceiving. I was simply referring to the way you look on the field which is no reflection on your ability and skills as a excellent short form bowler. Congrats on your BBL season and win.👍😜— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) February 17, 2019
"I think I fly under the radar a little bit, the way I am," said Gurney, who co-owns a pub with England fast bowler Stuart Board. "I don't carry on on the pitch too much. And I don't bowl 150kph. I pride myself on doing a job for the team as often as I possibly can.
"I'm comfortable with that as long as I keep winning trophies like this. It's an amazing feeling."
Can you let ‘Our Accountant’ of @catandwickets Pub Co. get back to the books now he’s won the 🏆?! 🙌🏻 @gurneyhf @tapandrunCW @threecrownsCW 🏏👨🏻💻 https://t.co/SL8SRmFBrt— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) February 17, 2019
The Renegades' title is the second T20 championship Christian and Gurney have played in together after the pair played starring roles in Nottinghamshire's 2017 triumph in the United Kingdom.
"He's an absolute gun," Christian said of Gurney. "He's the best death bowler I've played with anywhere around the world.
"I'd love to see Mark Waugh face him at the death, I don't think he'd be able to get him.
"He's got too many tricks, he bowls the perfect yorker.
"I was really pleased for him to close that game out for us again, he's did a great job for us all season."