Bob Jackson has landed an assistant coaching role with Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash.
The veteran Wodonga batter has spent the past week preparing the team for Tuesday night's season-opener against the Adelaide Strikers at Marvel Stadium.
Jackson was thrilled to accept head coach David Saker's invitation to come on board and work in one of the world's biggest leagues alongside the likes of Aaron Finch, James Pattinson, Nic Maddinson and Shaun Marsh.
"It was only going to be a seven-day gig so when he asked if I was up for the whole tournament, I nearly fell over," Jackson said.
"It's everything I thought it would be and more. I'm right at home doing this.
"I felt part of it straight away and that's a credit to the boys. I feel ready to be an active member of this sort of set-up and to have a six-week contract, I'm very fortunate."
Jackson has been Cricket Albury-Wodonga's most prolific batter of the last 15 years, scoring almost 7000 runs at an average of 49.38 but joining the Renegades is a whole new ball game.
"Initially, I wasn't sure how they'd take me because I haven't played at that level but they're all professionals and they're aware that 'Sakes' wouldn't have got someone in who's not up to it," Jackson said.
"The players have been magnificent and at this level, they don't need a lot of coaching, they just need tinkering with their four-day set-up into the Big Bash.
"They're embracing what I'm doing and I couldn't ask for anything better.
"They're young blokes who want to play the best cricket they can and if someone's there to help them get better, they'll embrace it.
"I'm not there to change their whole game and give them rockets, I'm there to help them get better and if that's throwing balls and giving them feedback or a little bit of advice when I feel they might need it, that'll happen."
Finch lifted the T20 World Cup in Dubai last month, while Pattinson and Marsh have also represented Australia in all forms of international cricket.
"They make you feel normal pretty quickly," Jackson said.
"Kane Richardson came to the group the other day and it's unbelievable but you've got to get over that pretty quickly because you've got a job to do.
"Reece Topley (England), Mohammad Nabi and Zahir Khan (Afghanistan) were all at the T20 World Cup and they've been fantastic.
Jackson only expects to miss three or four of Wodonga's provincial games due to his Big Bash commitments, with the tournament running until January 28.
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"I think we're going to surprise a few teams," Jackson said of the Renegades squad.
"We've got a very good bowling attack and our batting isn't too bad either.
"Not too many people will give us a chance but the way Sakes coaches, the young fellas are just drawn to him, he's magnetic with the young kids.
"The beauty of this group is they're all roughly the same age and they've all come through the junior program in Victoria together.
"The vibe in the changing rooms is fantastic, they're all mates and they know each other really well.
"That's not a bad base for us to be starting from."
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