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Behrendorff looks abroad for BBL prep

Left-armer willing to head overseas to play high-level cricket during his preparations for the Big Bash League

Martin Smith

12 October 2018, 02:00 PM

Paceman Jason Behrendorff has the blessing of Western Australian cricket to explore his options overseas during the first half of the JLT Sheffield Shield season as part of his truncated summer for the Warriors.

The injury-prone quick has been ruled out of long-form cricket until next year, meaning he won't play any Australian domestic matches for 10 weeks until Perth's first Big Bash game on December 20.

Behrendorff had hoped to play in the UAE's T10 Cricket League, which will run from November 23 to December 2 in Sharjah, but was not picked up in the player draft last month.

South Africa's new T20 league is scheduled to be played from November 9 to December 16, which could be an option if he attracts a suitor, while the ongoing Afghanistan Premier League wraps up on October 21.

WA have expressed a desire for the left-armer to play overseas in order to be at his best for the Scorchers later in the summer, but he concedes it's more likely he'll remain in Perth and play club cricket until the start of the BBL.

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"If an opportunity presents itself somewhere to play some other high-level cricket ... then I might look to try and jump on that," he told cricket.com.au.

"But I think at this stage it'll be more club cricket.

"I had a look into that (the T10 League). The draft was not at a great time because I hadn't actually played any cricket yet, so I didn't get picked up in that.

"What we spoke about (was) how can we best prepare me coming into the Big Bash. That was an option put on the table at the time, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen.

"So I'll get what I can in Perth and structure a good training program with a bit of cricket and get ready for the Big Bash."

The Warriors have shown a willingness in the past to let their players look elsewhere during the home summer if they're unwanted for Shield and one-day cricket; last October, veteran Michael Klinger was released to play in the Bangladesh Premier League before returning in time for the start of the BBL. The next edition of the Bangladesh league will begin in early January, making it an unviable option for Behrendorff.

The 28-year-old was in so much pain late last year that he was barely able to get out of bed when he suffered his latest back injury, which forced him out for almost the entire 2017-18 season.

But despite the lure of permanently giving up the rigours of four-day cricket and making a living playing Twenty20s around the world, he says he's never considered giving up on his dream of playing Test cricket.

"I love playing four-day cricket," he said. "If I didn't care about it, it would be easy to just play one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket.

"That's something that I'm keen to get back to and ideally it'll work and I'll be back there sooner rather than later."

Having played just two matches in WA's JLT One-Day Cup campaign, Behrendorff will look to return to Shield cricket in the second half of the season, assuming he doesn't have any setbacks during the BBL.