Callum Ferguson is returning to Worcestershire CCC as the main overseas player for the 2019 campaign after a successful first stint with the County this summer.
The Australian batsman has played white ball cricket only for the Rapids but when he comes back to Blackfinch New Road – from May 1 for the majority of the campaign – he will be available to compete in all formats.
He has already made a big mark on the County with his superb centuries against Leicestershire and Northamptonshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Then came another memorable hundred against Nottinghamshire in the Vitality Blast at Trent Bridge before his crucial 64 not out versus Gloucestershire sealed a spot at finals day.
Here Ferguson looks back on events this summer in a Question and Answer session with the Worcestershire CCC website ahead of returning to action with South Australia.
Question: Callum what are your thoughts on this first spell with Worcestershire?
Callum Ferguson: “I’ve absolutely loved it. Worcester is a great part of the world. It has been a tremendous experience this year. I probably ended up playing up a little bit more for Worcestershire than I expected when I initially came over.
“It was great to help the team get through to T20 finals day. It is huge for the lads and the club and it will be a great experience for them.
“That will be really exciting and this year we’ve been winning lots of games of cricket, and I’m really looking forward to getting the band back together next year, as you might put it!
“I’ll be coming back and playing with such an exciting, young and talented group of players. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.
“It will be great to play the red ball stuff as well and have virtually a full season over here, a real experience that I’ve wanted to get a hold of. To be offered it by Worcestershire next year is something I’m excited about.”
Question: You’ve made a big impression in white ball cricket this summer but you’ve also got a good average in red ball cricket?
Callum Ferguson: “I like to think I’m a bit of an all-rounder when it comes to the three cricket formats. I love all three and am certainly excited to be able to come over and play some red ball cricket over here.
“Watching Ashes series over the years, and watching the Duke ball swing and playing differently to the Kookaburra, was something I wanted to test myself against.
“We’ve ended up playing against the Duke ball in Australia during the past couple of years in Sheffield Shield cricket which has been great.
“But certainly coming over and testing myself in red ball cricket in English conditions is something I’m excited about as well.”
Question: “You were in the Sheffield Shield team of the year for 2018, an indication of your red ball prowess?
Callum Ferguson: “I feel my red ball game has been in pretty good shape the last five or six years. I’ve really had to work on a few things, try and push myself to the Test team. I’ve had a taste of that. I’d love to get back there.
“Hopefully the more runs I can get under my belt, the better. That’s your only currency as a batsman so getting over here and hopefully winning lots of games of cricket with Worcestershire and then putting some runs on the board myself will give me a chance of getting back to the Test team.”
Question: You mentioned before about the fact senior players like Chris Rogers, Tim Paine, Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh have been selected in recent times for Australia?
Callum Ferguson: “I think that is a real boost for me in particular being the other side of 30 now and seeing those guys doing well and getting rewarded.
“I’ve always been a big believer of picking your best side and we’ve got a good mix in the Australian team at the moments. That’s a real key.
“If you’ve got a good mix of youth and experience….it gives you a well rounded group and a nice demographic within the dressing room and in my experience has always led to good success and consistent performance.
“That’s something I’m hoping to get back to if I can by putting performances on the board.”
Question: You got selected for one Test and then were left out?
Callum Ferguson: “That was a tough one to swallow, getting one Test, but it has given me a real thirst to get back there, a hunger for runs.
“It was such a great experience even though it was a tough four days for us. It was something I’ll never forget and I’m really keen to get back there.”
Question: You mentioned previously your disappointment on missing out on T20 finals day but are you confident the Rapids can make a big impression.
Callum Ferguson: “They’ve been really close the last few years in all formats so the chance to go to a finals day is huge for this group.
“It’s a young group so to get that experience under their belt will be great. They’ve played a lot of quarter-finals and semi-finals.
“It was a great experience for them to get over the line against Gloucestershire in the knockout stages.
“I think they will go in with a lot of confidence. It is a really well-rounded side, plenty of options with the bat and the ball. I believe this side can go all the way.”
“They are all so excited about every new challenge that comes their way. They work their socks off and they deserve everything they get.”
Question: You will be coming back here as a newly wed with getting married next April?
Callum Ferguson: “I should be in a reasonable mood! I’ll be getting married in April in the lead up to my stint over here starting in May, to Rhiannon my fiancé.
“Really exciting, and can’t wait, and to be able to come basically straight from a honeymoon into the season will be fantastic.
“I will be straight down to work. It’s going to be a really exciting year with all of that included. I can’t wait for next year.”
Question: Will she come over here?
Callum Ferguson: “She will for a short period at the start of the season and we will see how we go with her work later in the English summer. She is a police woman, just qualified as a detective, so don’t know how lenient they will be on leave once she gets back into it.
“She has really enjoyed Worcester this year. She spent two months here. The proximity to the rest of Europe really excited her to do a bit of travel. We managed to do that – checked out Edinburgh, Rome, Paris, London.”
Question: Returning to this year, you made an incredible debut with your 192 against Leicestershire?
Callum Ferguson: “It did get off on the right foot which certainly takes a bit of pressure off but straightaway I felt like I’d been here forever.
“It was fantastic. We had a really good Royal London competition. The boys all made me feel really welcome which no doubt helped me score some runs and feel comfortable straight away.
“It is a great team to be a part of here, young, hungry, exciting, home grown boys.”
Question: What is the schedule for the next few months?
Callum Ferguson: “It will be really busy. I will be straight back into it when I get back. The first game with the Redbacks will be September 19 which is a lot earlier than usual.
“Then it will be the Big Bash and the Sydney Thunder. I’ve got a couple of years to run there which I’m really excited about as well.”