JLT One-Day Cup 2018
Honeymoon over as Pfeffer steps up
After a chaotic start to his professional career, former school teacher is front-runner to take the gloves for the Bulls in the JLT Cup
2 August 2018, 03:21 PM AEST
He missed his honeymoon and became an unwitting victim of cricket's 2017 pay dispute before he had even played a single match, but unheralded Bulls 'keeper-batsman Lachlan Pfeffer reckons life as a professional sportsman beats teaching any day.
Pfeffer, who played five Sheffield Shield matches last summer during the Bulls' title-winning run, will be aiming to fend off stiff competition from a pair of young guns as he bids to replace injured gloveman Jimmy Peirson for the JLT One-Day Cup next month.
A little over a year ago the Valleys product was working as a full-time high school PE teacher, but a contract with the Bulls trumped that – and also meant some bad news for his wife, Jess.
"We got married in the April but we'd planned our honeymoon for the June-July school holidays, because she's a teacher too," Pfeffer told cricket.com.au.
"We were one day away from booking a trip to Hawaii when I got contracted, and the dates clashed with our pre-season trip so I had to cancel.
"I haven't lived that one down. People kept asking, 'How was your honeymoon?' And my wife would just look at me."
Worse was still to come. Pfeffer's entry into the world of professional cricket coincided with the pay dispute. Suddenly mortgage payments were a little tricky.
"I didn't really have any money coming in for two months," he said. "Queensland Cricket were great though, they let me go and do supply teaching when I could, and it being tax time helped a little."
Pfeffer looks to be the front-runner to take the gloves from Peirson, who tore a hamstring, ahead of talented youngsters Tom Healy (son of Ian) and Lewin Maladay. He has worked closely with Peirson and head coach Wade Seccombe – a legendary Bulls 'keeper – during the past 12 months, which he insists has done wonders for his game.
"Queensland has been almost synonymous with great wicketkeepers, and having 'Chuck' (Seccombe) there is a ‘keeper's dream really," he said. "He's obviously got a whole squad to look after but he always manages to find good time to spend with me and Jimmy, and he's helped my game massively."
Pfeffer has also benefited from the presence and advice of fellow top-order left-handers and Test reps Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw.
"I've played a bit of cricket with Uzzy at Valleys, and 'Renners' has actually been really good as well," he said. "He was my opening partner and we spoke a lot when we were out there, just picking up different things. It's hard to believe he's only 22 years old."
Queensland will be desperate to improve on their disappointing fifth-placed finish last year when the new-look JLT One-Day Cup gets underway from September 16.
Helping their cause will be the return of Chris Lynn, who was on Monday named as a late addition to the squad.
Pfeffer is relishing the prospect of playing alongside the six-hitting sensation at the List A level, having lined up with him in underage competitions in their early years in Brisbane.
"Some of the things he can do are unbelievable," he said. "Just having him in the squad makes you more confident, because you feel like with him around we're going to go well.
"There's a good vibe around the place at the moment. Hopefully we can make it another good season."