“I was over the moon,” says left arm pacer Ben Dwarshuis, recalling the moment he realised he had been picked for Kings XI Punjab in the 11th Indian Premier League season. “It all happened within one week, the call-up for Australia first, and then a couple of days later I was lucky enough to be picked up by Kings XI Punjab.
“I was very excited, but then as time passed, I started getting a little nervous. Once I start training in India with the guys and play a few games, the nerves will settle, and hopefully I will put up a few good performances for the side.”
Dwarshuis’ excitement is well justified. Just a few days before the auction he was a relatively unknown Australian player who, even though he was catching eye-balls in the domestic circuit, hadn’t made a big splash in the cricketing world. Now, after being a part of the Australian squad in the Trans-Tasman Twenty20 Tri-series, he will be seen making his IPL debut for Kings XI Punjab.
Hailing from New South Wales, a region with a rich history of producing quality left-arm pacers such as Nathan Bracken and Mitchell Starc, Big Ben knows he has big shoes to fill, but right now his focus is on enjoying his cricket.
“Growing up, when I just started playing cricket a bit more professionally, guys like Mitchell Johnson were at the peak of their game – bowling really well, fast, and literally scaring the English guys when they came down for an Ashes series.
“More recently, I was lucky enough to play on the same stage as Mitchell Starc, so I talked to him about cricket and some of the stuff that he does. It has been really cool,” he says, the excitement of the interaction clear in his voice.
But what is a fearsome cricketer without an equally fearsome moustache. Continuing the tradition of Merv Hughes, Dennis Lillee and David Boon, Dwarshuis is as famous for his impressive moustache as for his craft. However, he had some disappointing news for fans of his ‘tache.
“It’s actually gone,” he laughs. “I have shaved off the moustache. We had a little competition with some of the cricketers at New South Wales, who I play State cricket with. We wanted to see who can grow it the longest without trimming it off or shaving it at all. That competition is done, so that moustache is gone.”
With or without the moustache, Ben Dwarshuis’ clever change of pace, deceptive swing and lethal accuracy definitely make him an exciting prospect to watch out for.