Country Wests batsman Travis Henke is on standby, ready to be called in to the Queensland Country cricket team.
Country Wests batsman Travis Henke is on standby, ready to be called in to the Queensland Country cricket team. MAX FLEET Crik

Henke on standby for state skipper

CRICKET: Travis Henke thought his dream run had ended after he hit a pull shot down a fielder’s throat in Townsville last year.

It meant he failed to impress for South Queensland in the Queensland Country trial game, and a spot in the illustrious team went begging.

But just like Australian test opener Phil Hughes, a second opportunity has presented itself, and Henke is waiting for the phone call that could see him at the crease for the state side tomorrow.

A leg injury to Queensland Country captain and opening batsman Todd Wells has left Henke on notice, and he could be on a plane this afternoon if Wells’ pain does not ease.

A physiotherapy session yesterday could not determine the full extent of the injury; instead Wells will play in a one-day game today and assess it from there.

Henke topped the runs at the South Queensland Country Championships this season, but failed to reach double figures in his only innings for the South Queensland side.

“It’s a bit of a shock to get the call. Obviously I missed out on any runs for South Queensland, but the selectors must have seen that I scored some runs for Wide Bay and thought I’d be the best replacement,” he said.

The Australian Country Cricket Championship is currently being contested in Albury-Wodonga.

If Henke leaves this afternoon, he will play a one-day game against the Northern Territory and two-day fixtures against Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

Country sides from every state and territory, as well as an East Asia Pacific outfit have been contesting the tournament since January 3.

“It would be my highest achievement and one I never expected,” Henke said.

“Making Wide Bay was great. I never expected to play for South Queensland, and to think I could be going even further is hard to believe.”

However, the right-hander’s sparkling form for Wide Bay has not transferred to the local scene this season – he is averaging just 25 and, despite cracking 136 against a division two team, has not passed 50 against a division one side.

“It hasn’t been happening for me locally, even when I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball well,” he said.

“But I think sometimes you lift when you go away and represent at higher levels.”

It is for this reason he will head south full of confidence.

Fresh from two weeks away from the game, Henke feels rejuvenated and ready to be among the runs again.

“You’ve got to take your chance when it presents itself. I’ve hardly hit a ball in weeks but if I get the call I’ll go down there with confidence.”

Henke will be hoping he makes a better fist of it than Hughes did at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.



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