James Faulkner set for Big Bash stint
All-rounder looks to build on strong Vitality Blast form this winter
Hobart Hurricanes are confident they can help James Faulkner rekindle his international career with Australia.
Lancashire’s T20 overseas star is set to embark upon his latest Big Bash campaign Down Under.
The one-day World Cup winning all-rounder has returned home to Tasmania from the Melbourne Stars, who he has played for since day one of the Big Bash in 2011/12.
Faulkner, 28-years-old, has played 94 times across all formats for Australia; one Test Match, 69 one-day and 24 T20 internationals since debuting in 2012.
However, he has not worn the green and gold since last October, with a persistent knee injury being a big contributing factor.
But Faulkner enjoyed an impressive Vitality Blast campaign with Lancashire during the summer, helping them reach Finals Day in September before suffering a calf injury in the semi-final defeat to Worcestershire.
In all, he claimed 20 wickets from 15 games with his wily left-arm seamers and will return to Emirates Old Trafford next summer alongside Glenn Maxwell.
Faulkner has signed a three-year deal with Hobart, who will play two games this summer in his home city of Launceston.
Cricket Tasmania chief executive Nick Cummins said: “We’re delighted to have James back, he’s Tasmanian through and through. His father Peter played for Tasmania, and they are a very popular family.
“Since he went to the Stars at the start of the Big Bash, Tasmanians have been wanting him to come back every year since.
“To get him back as a pretty much like for like replacement for Dan Christian, who has gone back to Victoria with the Renegades, is a big thing for us.
“He’s had trouble with his knee over the last few years, and a combination of injury and a lack of confidence has perhaps curtailed his effectiveness a little bit. But he’s going really well.
“He had a really good season for Lancashire until he hurt his calf on Finals Day.
“We are just going to focus on white ball cricket with him for the moment and not try and flog him in four-day cricket. He would have been in our JLT Cup team had he not suffered that injury in the Blast.
“We’re lucky that our head coach Adam Griffith is probably Australia’s best bowling coach and his assistant Jeff Vaughan is probably Australia’s best batting coach.
“That’s a really dynamic duo, and we’re hopeful they’ll be able to help James get back to his best and into the Australian team.
“He’s only 28, so he has plenty of time.
“We’re very hopeful he’ll get there.
“At Tasmania, if you’re not aspiring to play for Australia there’s not really a spot for you on our list. You either have to be aspiring to play for Australia or possibly be in George Bailey’s phase where he wants to help the young guys play international cricket.
“His aspirations are as strong as ever, and we’re right behind him.”
Hobart’s opening match is away against Brisbane Heat on December 22, while a meeting with Faulkner’s former employers, the Stars, comes at Blundstone Arena on Christmas Eve.
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