FORMER Nestles wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman has won a Big Bash League (BBL) contract.
South Australian franchise Adelaide Strikers yesterday rewarded Ludeman for his promising start to the first-class season with a spot on their roster.
The 25-year-old is South Australia’s first-choice wicket keeper this season under coach Darren “Chuck” Berry, and has enjoyed a career-defining opening month.
Ludeman has made 218 runs in eight Sheffield Shield knocks at an average of 27.25.
He has taken 16 catches and made one stumping to be second on the wicketkeeper dismissals tally behind Queensland’s Chris Hartley.
His Ryobi Cup numbers have also been encouraging, if less spectacular — 14 runs, three catches and a run-out from three matches.
But the form was such that Berry, who also coaches the Strikers, handed him the chance to make his name at Twenty20 level in the lucrative BBL.
Ludeman said he was excited to be part of the action-packed league.
“Obviously I watched last year (but) didn’t get a go anywhere so that was disappointing,” he said.
“This year, to get a crack is very exciting. I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be exciting — big crowds, lots of noise, music. I’m pretty keen.
“It’s obviously pretty new, it’s only the second year of the Big Bash League. But it’s going really well and seems like it’s here to stay.”
Adelaide Strikers start their campaign against last year’s runner-up Perth Scorchers on December 9 in Perth.
Ludeman said the Strikers’ list was good enough to lift them into the top four of the eight-team competition.
“It’s a pretty even list we’ve put together, some great international players with (Johan) Both and (Saeed) Ajmal,” he said.
“And Kieron Pollard, who generally clears the pickets every second ball.
“They’re some big names.
“Around them we’ve got some great local players. “Andrew McDonald has come across from the Renegades, he’s a very handy pick-up.
“Michael Klinger, Nathan Lyon, Kane Richardson, Gary Putland, these are all good cricketers.”
Ludeman was under pressure to hold his spot in the South Australia side after a disappointing start to season 2011-12 and was consequently dropped.
But Berry nominated him as the Redbacks’ wicketkeeper ahead of Tim Davey after he showed renewed commitment during the pre-season.
Ludeman has repaid the faith with his stellar start.
Berry said he was “delighted” to have Ludeman on the Strikers’ roster.
“He’s been rewarded for his outstanding start to the season,” he said.
“He’s been the form wicketkeeper-batsman of the Shield competition.
“We’re delighted to have him given we’ve got some really good spin bowling and a couple of really quick bowlers.
“Ludeman is at the top of his game at the moment.”