After six years at the Melbourne Stars, opener Rob Quiney is hopeful the elusive Big Bash League title will find its way to the club this season.
Quiney will return to Lavington Sportsground on December 12 for the second Border Bash against Sydney Thunder.
The 35-year-old retired from first class cricket during the off-season and has shifted his focus solely to the Big Bash this summer.
Quiney believes every side in this year’s Big Bash has the ability to win it, but it really comes down to who can turn it on come finals time.
“The one positive thing is we’ve been so consistent, but saying that we haven’t won anything yet,” Quiney said.
“We’ve had really good sides on paper and some unlucky circumstances.
“We’ve had everything you could ask for in terms of ups and downs, we just haven’t capatalised come semi-final time.
“Like all forms of cricket, you need to win the crucial moments and we haven’t been winning them come the crunch time of the season.
“Last year we lost three wickets in the first four overs (of the semi-final) and when you’re trying to set a score, that doesn’t help much.”
Quiney had his most consistent Big Bash season last summer, posting two half centuries including a high score of 75 off 43 balls against the Hobart Hurricanes.
“I made a big focus to try enjoy it more and relax,” he said.
“It’s quite easy to get caught up with the strategies as opposed to going out there and watching each ball.
“It worked out some games, but unfortunately it didn’t in the big match.”
Quiney said last year’s Border Bash crowd took him back and he hopes to see the community roll out in force once again.
“Sometimes practice matches can be a little bit boring and people don’t get much out of them, but when you play against another opponent you’re going to come up against in the real thing makes it a really good challenge,” he said.
“I didn’t realise so many people would come out and watch a couple of practice matches, but the atmosphere was great, the conditions were good and it was very good preparation leading into the tournament.”
It follows the trend of growing support for the Big Bash concept year after year and led to this season being expanded by eight games.
“I’ve heard stories of families that have got one or two cricket lovers amongst them and they’ll be watching the cricket all the time and the two non-cricket lovers aren’t happy the cricket is on all the time,” Quiney said,
“By the end, everyone wants to watch the Big Bash.
“A lot of people are turning their focus to the Big Bash, particularly the kids, and playing for Australia is almost second fiddle to the Big Bash at the moment.”