An unfortunate injury to all-rounder Jason Floros has paved the way for Penrith-born Twenty-20 cricketer, Simon Keen, to make his debut for the Sydney Thunder Big Bash side.
Keen was selected after Floros suffered a tournament ending finger injury whilst fielding for Queensland during a recent Ryobi Cup match.
25-year-old Keen ‘sealed the deal’ with an impressive batting performance of 86 against the Sydney Thunder in a practice match in Wollongong last week.
Sydney Thunder management had been eyeing off Keen for a while but the decision took him by surprise.
“I was very surprised to get the call up,” Keen said.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to get into a Big Bash squad; and to make my way into the western Sydney-based Thunder is something special.”
Keen said he wasn’t aware selectors had been watching him for some time in both his grade and T20 competitions, but is obviously thrilled that they were.
“You always seem to see them (selectors) at the ground but you just never know who they are keeping their eye on, so you always have to play your best,” he said.
Born in Penrith, Keen now becomes the seventh western Sydney product to join the Thunder camp.
The Thunder kicked off their Big Bash campaign last week in a loss to cross-town rivals and defending champs, the Sydney Sixers.
Despite the loss, Keen said he is eager to hit the pitch as soon as possible.
Keen, an all-rounder, hopes to add to the depth of the Thunder’s batting stocks which features Australian test captain Michael Clarke and West Indies legend Chris Gayle.
“I see my strength in the Thunder line-up as more of a batter than bowler,” he said.
“I’d rather hit the ball over the fence then be hit over the fence bowling. We have a similar side to last year and I think we’ve learnt a lot from last year’s efforts.”