WATCH out Ballarat batsmen – former Australian fast bowler Shane Harwood has been showing little mercy at training in the Brown Hill nets.
And he is just warming up.
Harwood will trek down the highway to face last season’s semi-finalist Darley tomorrow in his return to Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts.
He will hop on the bus with the Bulls’ team and is keen to get back in action.
The two-day match will be played on turf, which has made his first match back with his home club all the more appealing.
He can hardly wait to get started.
“The club’s going really well – we’ve recruited a few blokes and the vibe is good,” Harwood said.
“We really want to push Wendouree and be a good top side.
“We want to go further than sixth, which is where we finished last year.”
Harwood’s homecoming to Progress Park has always been promised but this season the timing was right.
The 39-year-old has started a new job in town and can commit more time to the Bulls.
He has barely missed a session since pre-season training work began in mid-July and has spent a lot of time working with the club’s juniors.
“It’s been really good to be back,” Harwood said.
“It’s nice not to have to travel anymore to play and good to get back to the old club.
“I’ve been teaching the young guys a few tricks they didn’t know.”
He has slipped back into the fold quickly, having remained in close contact with the club during his time away.
Harwood joins the Bulls after two seasons with Melton in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association – his first season with Melton also doubled with a stint with Melbourne Renegades in the inaugural Big Bash League.
The speedster made his first class debut for Victoria in the 2002-03 season and he played 44 Sheffield Shield matches for the Bushrangers.
Harwood played four matches for Australia, including three Twenty20s and a one-day game against South Africa.
Now the 1996/97 EJ Cleary medallist returns to where he started it all – as a charging Bull.