Fast bowler Billy Stanlake warns that he will only get quicker after Twenty20 tri-series opener.Billy Stanlake is hopeful of making a return to first-class cricket this summer but the towering paceman admits he’s unsure when he’ll next send down a red ball in a top-flight match.
Stanlake announced himself on the international stage with a lively spell of 3-15 against New Zealand in a T20 international on Saturday night, but hasn’t played Sheffield Shield cricket since December 2015.
The 23-year-old has battled back, feet and pelvis stress fractures throughout his career, before a toe infection ruled him out of the start of this summer with Queensland.
But with a solid BBL campaign under his belt for new champions Adelaide, Stanlake is hopeful of returning to first-class cricket over the next two months.
“I think that’s something we will assess,” Stanlake said.
“I’m sure the medicos and docs are looking closely at that. We’ll see how we go with this series and then if that arises I will be very happy to.
“If that opportunity arises I would love to but if not I’m prepared for that as well.
“The body is in really good nick. I put a lot of hard work in over so I feel really good at the moment.”
Stanlake made his Shield debut for Queensland in October 2015, but has managed just two first-class and six 50-over domestic and international matches since.
Cricket have taken a patient approach after he was the only Strikers or Hobart player not released back to Sunday’s BBL final from the nation’s T20 squad, in line with their management of fast bowlers.
“I knew that was coming for a while now. Obviously I would love to play and it’s a bit of a shame,” Stanlake said.
“I played (Saturday) night and would have had to travel (Sunday) morning, it’s just the nature of being a bowler.
“Physically I feel fine, but I can probably understand the logic behind it. Playing for is the priority.”