Melbourne: Former Australia pacer James Pattinson revealed that he had got a text message from newly-appointed skipper Pat Cummins, asking him to return to international cricket. But Pattinson, who made a shock retirement from the international arena just before the Ashes on October 20, politely turned down such thoughts. Instead, the pacer is fully focused on the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season.
“I had a text from Patty (Pat Cummins) asking if I had any second thoughts (about retiring from international cricket), but I’m just enjoying myself at the moment. It’s the first time that I can sit back and prepare myself for a full season of Big Bash cricket and I’m excited about the team we’ve got this year,” Pattinson was quoted as saying on Thursday.
The 31-year-old believes that no international commitments mean that he will help youngsters and step up to take responsibilities for Melbourne Renegades in the BBL. “It’s a weight taken off my shoulders. I’ve had some good times, but I’ve also had setback after setback (at international level). I like to lead and help the young kids. We have a young, talented list that I’m excited to play with finally. Hopefully I lead by example and can help the next generation of players come through.”
Pattinson feels that with him returning to bowl in the shorter formats of the game, his bowling intensity will go up in domestic cricket. “For me to compete at the domestic level at 80 per cent is a lot, while my GPS data is coming back at 75 per cent. For Test cricket you have to be up at 100 per cent, that’s the big contrast. Taking it back a little notch allows me to play more consistent cricket and play year-round as well. I’m not trying to bowl 100 per cent with the way I’m pulling up. With Big Bash being four overs, you’ll see my intensity go up. It excites me to let the shackles off.”
Pattinson signed off by saying that he plans to play cricket till his mid-30s. “I sometimes cross the line and most times I’m near or touching the line. That’s just the way I play cricket. Bowling with pace is a key weapon as I don’t have many tricks. I rely a lot on my pace. The plan is 35. I don’t see myself being a (Kent allrounder) Darren Stevens playing over in England until I’m 45. I don’t think my wife will be too happy with that!”