Young Victorians looking to impress
Almost half of the Victoria Bushranger players have already figured in the cash-awash Indian Premier League and the remaining youngsters are eyeing the Champions League T20 to impress upon the IPL teams to earn a lucrative contract.
Although the young Victoria cricketers unanimously said their first priority is to represent their state side, they didn't rule out playing in the IPL if offer comes.
Young left-arm orthodox spinner Jon Holland went to the extent of saying that it would be "crazy" on his part if he rejects such an opportunity.
"I don't know about others, personally I am focussed on playing for Victoria and performing for them. But if any IPL offers comes, I will surely consider it," the 22-year-old said.
"IPL is a great tournament, I have watched it on TV and will love to be a part of it. It would be foolish and crazy of me if I don't accept any IPL offer," added Holland, who was a member of Australia's 30-man preliminary squad for the Champions Trophy.
Victoria Bushrangers' Champions League squad consists of as many as seven IPL players - Shane Harwood, skipper Cameron White, Andrew McDonald, Rob Quiney, Brad Hodge, David Hussey and Dirk Nannes.
Another youngster James Pattinson, who represented Australia A in last year's U-19 World Cup, said an IPL offer would be a icing on the cake in his short career.
"Definitely, I will play in the IPL if any team offers me a contract. It would be a bonus but my main priority is to represent Victoria and someday Australia," said the 19-year-old James, who is brother of England Test bowler Darren Pattinson.
The 22-year old hard-hitting batsman Aaron Finch also agreed with his team-mates but said at present he is completely focused on Champions League, starting October 8.
"Right now, I am not thinking about playing in the IPL. I am here to play for Victoria and will like to give my best for the team in the Champions League.
"But if any IPL team is interested on me after seeing my performance in the Champions League, then I will definitely think about it," Finch said.
Incidentally, notwithstanding the seven players with IPL experience, the Victoria team has an added advantage in coach Gregory Shipperd, who was Delhi Daredevils coach in the first two editions of the cash-rich league.
Shipperd, however, did not agree that his side has an edge over other teams in the Champions League because of his and the players' experience.
"We will slightly benefit from other teams but all the teams know each other well. All the teams have worked on their opponents strengths and weaknesses.
"So, at the end of the day, it is the team which plays better cricket on the given day will win the match," Shipperd said.