The ‘big carrot’ driving Glenn Maxwell's ambitions
GLENN Maxwell admits the lure of a home T20 World Cup at the start of next summer is hard to look past when discussing his future ambitions.
Maxwell made an eye-catching return to professional cricket, after a two-month break due to mental health issues, in Friday's Big Bash League game between the Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat.
The all-rounder smashed 83 off just 39 deliveries as the Stars began their tournament with a 22-run win at Metricon Stadium.
While admitting his omission earlier this week from Australia's squad for next month's three-match ODI tour of India was disappointing, Maxwell has far from given up on returning to the national team in the future.
"Yeah certainly, especially with the T20 World Cup around the corner," he said.
"There's that big carrot I suppose at the start of next season and I'll be doing everything I can to work towards that."
Given his lack of match time and uncertainty over his form, Maxwell could understand why he'd been left out of the one-day team.
"I probably haven't dwelled on it as much as I probably did in the past," he said.
"I suppose not shelving it and just not thinking about it, being able to have the conversations with people about it and deal with it appropriately.
"That's probably something I haven't done very well in the past and to be able to get through the other side and perform well, really makes a big difference."
Maxwell was also given a boost on the eve of his playing return, being picked up by Kings XI Punjab in Thursday's IPL auction on a $2.91m contract.
"I was extremely happy. We were following it with coaching staff," Maxwell said.
"We were watching all the Stars players come out and when my name came out we were just refreshing like mad. Couldn't watch it anywhere so we were just watching it on the Twitter feed.
"Very exciting and glad to be going home to the Kings XI. I've got a lot of great memories there, had four really good years there so looking forward to getting back."
English import Tom Banton did his best to give the Heat a shot at victory with a sizzling 64 from 36 balls, but it wasn't enough as Brisbane finished 8-145 in reply to Melbourne's 7-167.
The Heat have lost their opening two matches of the BBL and face going into Christmas without a win if they can't topple the Sixers in Sydney on Sunday.
After sending the Stars in to bat, the Heat had few answers for Maxwell's brilliance as the international superstar sent short balls sailing into the stands and full deliveries to the boundary with his repertoire of trick shots.
Maxwell came in with the Stars sitting precariously at 3-56 and departed in the final over after guiding his team to a competitive 7-167.
He gave the Heat a half-chance to get him out early when he was dropped by a flying Ben Laughlin in the deep for 12 but was faultless from then on.
The Stars' next best with the bat was Peter Handscomb with 20 (15), proving how crucial Maxwell's knock was to Melbourne winning their opening match of the tournament despite missing South African star Dale Steyn.
In reply, the Heat were cruising with Banton at the crease, the big-hitting Englishman blasting four sixes, including a huge 102m six that nearly sailed out of the stadium.
Australia spinner Adam Zampa (3-30) pulled the Stars back into the contest, picking up the key wickets of Chris Lynn (six) and Banton, who got greedy and was caught in the deep to leave the Heat at 3-81.
Matt Renshaw was the only other Heat batsman to show any genuine resistance, compiling a calm 39 from 30 balls before departing in the penultimate over, Brisbane eventually finishing 8-145.
Lynn has had a poor start to the BBL with the bat, holing out in the deep for six after falling for nine against the Thunder on Tuesday night.
The Heat will fly to Sydney on Saturday ahead of their match against the Sixers at the SCG on Sunday.
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