Durban (South Africa), Apr.1 (ANI): Carpenter and pace bowler Ben Laughlin is hoping to make his one-day international debut some time in April in South Africa.
Just a year ago, the Melbourne-born Queenslander was ready to give up on his hopes of playing state cricket.
"I had a decent grade summer (in Brisbane in 2007-08) and I didn't really feel like I was getting anywhere,'' Laughlin said ahead of Friday's opening ODI match against South Africa.
"I had pretty much had enough of cricket and then, I was lucky enough to get called in for the last Shield game (in March 2008).
"I went alright in that and then got a Bulls contract this year and I was pretty stoked to get that.
"Then I got picked in the first one-day game which was probably even more of a shock and then played them all year long (taking 23 wickets at 14.86) and ended up here.
"Hopefully I'll get a game along the way somewhere (in the five-match series).
"Even if I don't play, I'm still having a pretty good time. I'm living the dream,'' Fox Sports quoted Laughlin, as saying.
Laughlin, who opened the bowling for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield final against Victoria, was shocked to be told before the match that he was part of the national Twenty20/ODI squad for the tour of South Africa.
Last week, the son of former Test all-rounder Trevor Laughlin made his T20 International debut at Centurion, taking 1-32 from his four overs in Australia's 17-run loss.
"I've had a few text messages and emails from people staying up until the wee hours of the morning watching us. Everyone is pretty pumped about it all,'' Laughlin said.
"I had an email from dad. He was very excited. He enjoyed my bouncers.''
Laughlin has been mentored by former Australian swing bowler Adam Dale.
"Getting to bowl to Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke is a really big thrill,'' he said.
"Just hanging around with the guys and just talking to (bowling coach) Troy Cooley and all the other bowlers and picking up knowledge that way, it has been really exciting.
Laughlin left school after Year 11 and has plenty of life experience in his CV before making a late arrival to big-time cricket.
"I've been working full-time for almost nine years as a carpenter so long service is coming up soon,'' he says.
"It really makes me appreciate being paid to pay cricket.
"It's a lot more enjoyable than nailing in nails and things like that.'' (ANI)