Andrew Tye was overwhelmed with emotions and broke down on the phone when he agonized an elbow harm last year, which dominated him out for many of the season, but discussions with the Australia committee member gave him certainty that he would get another chance at the top level.
Now, that Tye has been encompassed in Australia’s 21-man team for the limited-overs visit of England, which could see him reappear to the side after approximately two years. Tye last played for Australia in November 2018, but was part of the T20I team early last summer against Sri Lanka when he went down injured during training before the series began. Following surgery meant he missed the BBL for Perth Scorchers.
Covid-19 has in the meantime paid to any off-season cricket for him, with the IPL deferred – Tye will join Rajasthan Royals in the UAE after the England visit – and a county deal with Gloucestershire shelved, which meant last October’s Marsh Cup was the last time he performed at the professional level, even though he did manage to play club cricket late last summer.
“When I first did [the injury], it was definitely the toughest; I broke down on the phone crying to my partner. I’d worked so hard to get back in the team and then this happened. It was a tough summer watching a lot of cricket and not playing, being frustrated at the injury which wasn’t coming along quite as quickly as it could and getting close to playing the back-end of the Big Bash.” Tye said.
“I’ve had a lot of time at home and really enjoyed it. It’s been the best preparation really, the longest time in ten years I’ve spent at home. [I’ve] had a nice pre-season and slowed things down once there was no IPL. It’s given me a real good chance to make sure my body is in the best shape it can be. Since all that, I’ve had a lot of time at home and really enjoyed it. It’s been the best preparation really, the longest time in ten years I’ve spent at home. [I’ve] had a nice pre-season and slowed things down once there was no IPL. It’s given me a really good chance to make sure my body is in the best shape it can be.” He added
During the time side-lined was difficult, he had been given early hopes that he would remain resolutely in Australia’s T20I plans and now has his eyes on the back-to-back T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022.
“When I injured myself, it was a possibility I wouldn’t get back in,” he said. “I was hopeful, though, that there would still be a chance and they would give me a crack to get my spot back. Then when the coronavirus happened. You are uncertain and you just never know, so [I am] very pumped to be back in Australia colours. I have every faith in the Aussie set-up that they would have given me every chance to get back. From what they had communicated after I injured my elbow, [they said] we had picked you in the strongest possible T20 team; you will get a chance to get back. It’s a great opportunity to put my best foot forward for the next couple of years.”
“I’m very faithful to WA, they have looked after me incredibly well over the years and I always want to play for them as much as I can,” he said. “They have said to me they don’t have me in their plans for red-ball but am very much in their white-ball team, so this year I got squeezed out. I’m just glad they could keep one of the younger guys on and give them a chance, the same way they gave me a chance.”
He believes his bowling – known for his range of variations such as the knuckleball – “feels the best it ever has” and he has used the downtime of recent months to make some small technical changes working closely with Western Australia bowling coach Matt Mason. “I believe that the changes that I’ve made can only help my game so I’m really excited by it and hopefully it makes my variations even better,” he said.
Though Tye is doubtful to be in Australia’s early planning for the ODI side, the tour may also be a chance to resuscitate his profession in that format which is stalled on seven caps, all of which have come against England. The last of those was on the prior visit in 2018, in the match at Trent Bridge, where the home side racked up a world record 481 for 6 with Tye going none for 100 off nine overs – the second-most expensive figures for Australia in ODI cricket.
“I quite often get reminded of it,” he said. “I see it as a good challenge, my last game there probably wasn’t the greatest. It’s a good challenge to come back and learn from those lessons.”