JEREMY Burgess is determined to prove his batting stands tall against country Victoria’s best.
The Merrivale co-coach turned heads with three half centuries before Christmas, earning a recall to Warrnambool’s Melbourne Country Week squad.
Burgess’ road to selection, however, was winding.
The opening batsman fell victim to a football-related knee injury in 2016 – just months after his country week debut.
It translated to plummeting form at the crease, with the father-of-two unable to execute a proper pre-season.
Burgess was last season overlooked for selection. But this time, he’s eager to prove he still has the talent to compete against regional Victoria’s best talent.
“Playing two years ago and missing out last season was a bit of a kick in the guts and I definitely wanted to get back in the team,” he said.
“I’m pretty excited and I’m really looking forward to getting away. I want to prove I can still do it at the highest level.
“I feel like I’m in pretty good form and it’s really good to get the opportunity again.”
Burgess, who is averaging 41.5 runs in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association, revealed his aim was to successfully execute his role for the team.
He expected to play on pitches well-suited to batting.
“I’m not sure where I’ll bat, but wherever I do I’ll do whatever I can to help the team,” he said.
“I think the bowlers are going to be to a very high standard. You’re playing against some of the best players in the state.
“With the good batting decks, you hope that helps out a little bit. (Captain) Nathan (Murphy) wants us to just back our game in and to not get too hyped up with the surroundings.”
Murphy described Burgess as “a great team player”.
“He’s great for morale and we’ll look for him to bowl some middle overs,” he said.