The Scorchers may have kept the all-rounder Aaron Hardie «away» from rival clubs, but with another standout performance in the Big Bash League, he’s no longer WA’s best-kept secret.
Just weeks after ex-Australian star Cam White declared Hardie a «fantastic young player» he would like to lure east, the 24-year-old showed just how versatile he was by jumping the bat at three o’clock on Saturday and helping the team. Scorchers returned to the top of the table.
Fox Cricket’s Brad Haddin believes that given Hardie’s strength and versatility, it’s only a matter of time before he joins players like Mitch Marsh and $3.15 million Cam Green in the Indian Premier League.
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Hardie hit the tournament’s second half century as his century-long stand with Cam Bancroft led Perth to victory over the Heat.
«He didn’t even get a ball wrong,» commended Fox Cricket’s Brad Haddin.
“It’s nice to see the promoted guys make the most of the opportunity that comes their way. Make it hard for the coach and selectors to pull them back.
«That’s what he’s doing right now.
“Perth Scorchers are blessed with versatile players. (Marcus) Stoinis there, (Cam) Green, (Mitch) Marsh. Maybe we’re witnessing another one, Aaron Hardie.
“The others are all sought after in IPL. Maybe this Aaron Hardie guy is starting a campaign for that too.”
Sydney Sixers assistant Cam White said Hardie is a player he would definitely want to have at his club.
«I think Aaron Hardie is a great young player and he has shown to play cricket very well,» he said.
“I personally had my eye on him for a long time but in Australian cricket it was kept a secret.
«He’s stuck there on the Shield team and low in the Scorchers line-up – he’s a very useful player to have.»
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His all-rounder’s 57 hits against the Heat were nearly flawless until he was caught just a millimeter from his crease, with just 33 balls and 57 hits.
Scorchers assistant coach Beau Casson laughed when he described the 193cm Hardie as a «weasel» between wickets.
“We saw him playing number six earlier in the year, he showed his strength in that area. Now we’re starting to see some of his class with the bat (at three), ”Fox told Cricket.
“The beginning of good things to come for him.”
Teammate Cam Bancroft said he felt like he had «the best seat in the house» as he watched the Hardie hit Saturday night.
“I thought he played incredibly well,” he said.
«He’s as strong as your Mitch Marsh, and Cam Green hits a really big ball. For us, he grows with every game he plays.
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“He had a good crack at three today. His intention was great and he played really well.
“Mitch goes out and pulls back to clear the spotters on first ball and Hards, feeling like he had the same intent today.
«Hopefully this is a point towards the end of the season where it can be really productive for us.
“He came across as casual, identified quite early as a really talented youngster. To watch her rise… her kicks became more and more powerful.
Scorcher friend Jhye Richardson said she expects to see Hardie at higher rep awards soon.
«He’s a great player, he’s improved his game over the last 18 months,» he said.
«I think if (his form) is anything to consider, he has a very long career ahead of him, here and higher ranks.»
Hardie said he wanted to imitate his Perth teammate and injured Australian star Mitch Marsh with his shot.
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“I absolutely love shooting three-shots. I’ve done it all my life in club cricket. You have more balls to hit in threes. «I’m happy that I took the opportunity tonight,» he said.
«I’m probably going to slide in three for the rest of the season and I’m sick of it.
“Having Mitch[Marsh]out probably helps this season.
“He’s a great helper… if I can keep looking for sticks like him, I think that will go a long way.
«He probably has a few more grenades bigger than I hit but he’s played a few more games so I’ll try to catch him.»
Hardie said that while he hasn’t heard directly from Australian voters, his focus remains on game development.
«Cricket is literally a numbers game – I have to do lots of runs and get lots of wickets. We’ll see what happens,» he said.
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