NIRRANDA cricket export Jake Haberfield reckons he’s picked up “one of the last spots in the country” for the 2013-14 Big Bash League (BBL) season.
Melbourne Renegades made Haberfield, 27, their final signing for the Twenty20 tournament, which begins on December 20.
The signing has given the Victorian Bushrangers-listed paceman a second crack at the BBL.
Haberfield was on the Renegades’ supplementary list last season before earning a call-up after Jayde Herrick suffered a foot injury.
“I had a fantastic time last year with the group of the guys that were in the squad and the squad this year is pretty much unchanged."
He failed to play a match but impressed franchise officials enough to earn a full contract 12 months on.
His selection comes courtesy of a blazing start with Victorian Premier Cricket (VPC) club Footscray-Edgewater.
Haberfield said he relished his debut season with the Renegades, despite not playing a part in their rise into the semi-finals.
He said his ambitions this time around were to “get a game” and help the red army reach the BBL grand final.
Preparations begin with the Wipe Off 5 Ballarat Bush Bash — two Twenty20 matches against the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy on December 15.
“I had a fantastic time last year with the group of the guys that were in the squad and the squad this year is pretty much unchanged,” Haberfield said.
“We were winning most of our games. We had a good time. It was pretty much a pleasure just to be a part of it, even though I wasn’t playing.
“I wasn’t confident (of getting a contract) at all. I moved to Melbourne in the hope I could be front and centre if a spot did come up. There were a couple of spots left when the (Sheffield) Shield season started. I got the very last spot on the list, one of the last spots in the country.
“I wouldn’t say I was confident but I’m thrilled I’ve got it.”
Haberfield said he was pleased with his exploits for Footscray-Edgewater, which have come after an off-season shift from Adelaide to Melbourne. He has taken 25 wickets at an average of 17 to be the VPC’s leading wicket-taker, with best figures of 7-82 against Prahran.
“It’s probably been a bit of everything. Perhaps the change of scenery has helped me out,” he said.
“The Bushrangers squad I’ve been involved in, the coaches and the players and the set up Cricket Victoria has, that’s all been good.
“I’d like to think I’m always growing as a cricketer and always improving.”
Haberfield will be part of the Footscray-Edgewater squad which will take part in the VPC Bush Bash in Warrnambool and Port Fairy on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will take on Essendon and Prahran in their two Twenty20 matches at Avery’s Paddock. Geelong will also make the trip to the south-west.