His baggy green dreams came true two months ago but star allrounder Cameron Green has set himself a far simpler goal for the early part of 2021 – get through the Sheffield Shield season unscathed.
Green burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old in 2017, snaring figures of 5-24 and 2-56 for WA in his Shield debut against Tasmania.
The now 21-year-old has been dogged by stress fractures in his back over the past four years, forcing him to spend extended stints on the sidelines.
A tweak to his bowling action helped Green return to full fitness late last year, and his sparkling Shield form that has him averaging 72.6 with the bat this season saw him rewarded with a Test debut in December.
Although he was unable to take a wicket during the four-Test series against India, scores of 84, 47 and 45 in a struggling Australian batting line-up highlighted his potential.
Green has resisted the urge to play county cricket this year in order to stay in Perth and further refine his bowling action ahead of next summer’s Ashes series.
But first Green wants to get through the rest of the Shield season, starting with WA’s clash with South Australia at the WACA Ground this week.
“The last four years I’ve had a stress fracture,” Green said.
“So my first goal is to get through this year fine and then go onto the next preseason with a fresh body.”
Australia coach Justin Langer and WA coach Adam Voges were on hand on Wednesday as Green was inducted into the WACA’s Test Player Walk.
Voges, a former captain of WA, said he knew Green would be a future star after facing him in the nets at Bellerive Oval the day before a Shield match against Tasmania in 2017.
“I walked out 10 minutes later straight over to Justin and said, ‘We’ve got to play the kid’,” Voges said.
Green’s seven-wicket haul against the Tigers helped guide WA to a nine-wicket win.
And it was a Shield match against Victoria later that year that proved Green’s fighting spirit.
“On the morning of day two, Green went down with a dislocated kneecap,” Voges recalled.
“He went down in an absolute heap. We all sat there and thought, ‘Oh no, he’s out for the rest of the game’.
“To Greeny’s credit, not only did he get back out on the park, but he made 40-odd, played some wonderful pull shots and was able to come out and take 3-20 and help us win the game.
“We worked out pretty quickly that not only did we have a talented cricketer, but also a competitive and tough one.”