Ross Whiteley is preparing to launch his spell in the Bangladesh Premier League and hopes it is “the start of something big” and may lead to being snapped up for other global T20 tournaments.
The Worcestershire all-rounder flies out this week to link up with the Sylhet Sixers franchise for the seven team T20 tournament which runs from November 2 to December 20.
The big-hitting Whiteley knows a successful campaign could have a knock-on effect and spark interest from teams in other competitions this winter such as the Big Bash.
Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes sees such experiences as important to a player’s development and can only be of benefit to the Rapids own T20 Blast campaign.
It was Whiteley’s destructive hitting for the Rapids – including six sixes in an over against Yorkshire spinner Karl Carver – that sealed his forthcoming engagement with the Sixers.
Whiteley said: “I’ve been really excited seeing some of the T20 competitions on TV and to get the opportunity to play in a tournament like that is perfect.
“It’s my foot in the door. I’ve got a chance to really perform and put my name out there.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to do that. Now it’s up to me to perform and potentially get another tournament.
“You watch some f these T20 tournaments on TV and it is such a great spectacle.
“You’ve got thousands of fans coming and watching. It is exciting. I’ve been to a few of the Big Bash games while I’ve been in Australia. It is fantastic.
“If you can get your name out there and do something special…..it only takes one or two innings really to get people talking so it’s quite an exciting time ahead for me.
“Hopefully this is the start of something big for me and I’m looking forward to it.”
Whiteley is excited by the challenge of playing in Bangladesh and the Sixers whose squad also includes England all-rounder Liam Plunkett.
He said: “I am never fazed by anything like that. I quite enjoy going to new places and seeing new things so that side of it is exciting.
“I can’t wait for the opportunity to go out there and spend some time in a place I’ve never been and kind of learn about new conditions, ways of playing cricket and try and learn from some of the fantastic players that are in that tournament as well.
“I know Liam quite well, probably first out in Adelaide a few years ago. He came over for a bit of training when I was on the Darren Lehmann Academy and we have kept in contact.
“I’ve been doing the research on who my new team-mates will be and am flying out about a week before the tournament to get used to the conditions.”
Whiteley has come to the fore at New Road in the T20 Blast with 62 sixes in the past three seasons.
He said: “Did I always want to be a T20 player? Not really. Personally when I was younger, I just wanted to play whatever cricket I could whether that was four-day or T20. I just wanted to play first team cricket.
“As time has gone on and my career has gone on, it has probably led me more towards the white ball stuff with my performances. It probably suits my game a bit better.
“But I still want to play red ball cricket.”
It was in a T20 Blast game that Whiteley made his Worcestershire debut four years ago against Somerset at New Road.
He said: “I remember that fondly. I was batting with Andre Russell at the time and it was almost like a competition to see who could hit it further.
“I think he probably got me on the day and hit a few more out of the ground! That was my first game. It was pretty exciting.
“I do a hell of a lot of practice on hitting sixes. It is something I really enjoy doing. I see it as a strength of mine and I want to keep going.”