Ballarat cricketer Matt Short has signed a three-year deal with reigning Big Bash League championship team Adelaide Strikers.
It comes after Short was controversially left out of the Melbourne Renegades side that went down to the Strikers in a knockout semi-final.
The East Ballarat Cricket Club product had achieved his top score of 62 the previous week against Brisbane Heat. The Strikers went on to win their first Big Bash League championship.
Short, who has also signed on with the Victorian Bushrangers, now known as the Victorian Men’s Cricket Team, is the only Ballarat athlete playing Big Bash.
Renegades coach Andrew McDonald told Fairfax Media in February the club had been keen to keep Short.
The Strikers’ newest recruit was in hometown Ballarat on Saturday to help run drills at a clinic for young cricketers with all abilities.
Charity Lend a Hand to Hugo, where Short has worked in the role of ambassador for the past four years, and AAA Sports facilitated the interactive session at Ballarat Grammar School.
“When I was growing up I went to a lot of cricket clinics myself and there were guys there that helped us out and gave us a few tips, so it is good to give back and especially with something so special,” Short said.
“I was happy to jump on board and broaden my knowledge on autism and disability in general, and how we can help out and help spread the awareness.
“My role is to try and raise the awareness on the way we talk about people with disability and that they are just like you and I.”
Short said a personal highlight from his break-out summer had been earning debut honours for Victoria.
“That was a goal of mine leading into the season, so hopefully this year I can play a few more games and try cement my spot in the one-dayers and Sheffield Shield,” he said. “Consistency would be my main goal (next season).”
The young talent said he was having a “pretty quiet” off-season, especially after having his appendix removed less than two weeks ago.