Tim David has warned of the lonely path he’s trodden to Australian colours from outside the national cricket system.
The big-hitter debuted for Australia in their Twenty20 tour of India last month and had immediate impact as a late-innings hitter.
It’s a role he’s made his own in the shorter formats over the last 18 months in tournaments around the world.
David’s worth was underlined and validated when he signed for $1.5 million with Mumbai in this year’s IPL and then blasted 16 of the 86 balls he faced for six, finishing the season with the competition’s best-ever strike rate.
Offered a contract by Western Australia in 2018-19, David never earned a first-class cap but now looms as a key piece of Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign on home soil later this year.
“(When I was) released from state system I had to find a different way and I’ve been fortunate to make the most of those opportunities,” 26-year-old David said ahead of Wednesday’s T20 clash with the West Indies on the Gold Coast.
“It’s a setback to be released from the professional environment in Australia but it gave me an opportunity to look at things, work on different skills and just have fun with it.
“But it was few years ago now and I’ve been really busy the last 18 months or so, so I can’t remember too much about it.”
The lack of a centralised Cricket Australia contract has, ironically, allowed the Hobart Hurricanes talent to play wherever he pleases and hone the skills the national side have been searching for.
David, who has also played for Singapore, admitted thoughts of a Test cap evaporated with his state contract but was hesitant to recommend his unique route to others.
“It’s just a natural development of the opportunities you get,” he said of his career rise.
“There’s lots of opportunities out there now in cricket and different ways of going about it.
“It’s a tough one though, because you’re by yourself, there’s not a lot of support.
“Of course there’s amazing opportunities and you experience different things; I’d just encourage people to go out and play whatever cricket they can.”
Australia will play the West Indies at Metricon Stadium before the sides meet again at the Gabba on Friday.
David said his transition had been helped by playing with and against so many international cricketers and that his role hasn’t changed.
“It’s kind of why I’ve been added to the group; what I’ve been doing is what I’m going to try to do for Australia if I get the chance,” he said.
“So business as usual, really.”
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