Victoria have confirmed their interest in luring Peter Siddle back to his home state with the Vics keen to accelerate the development of their emerging pace attack.
Siddle, who turned 38 last November, remains keen to play next Australian summer and will return to Somerset in English county cricket over the winter.
But that could be in his former state instead of Tasmania, with Cricket Victoria Head of Men’s Cricket David Hussey today confirming his interest in luring the veteran right-armer back home.
The 67-Test great played 63 first-class matches, 36 one-dayers and 14 T20s for Victoria before the Tigers move ahead of the 2020-21 season.
And despite being in the twilight years of his career, Siddle’s form has not wavered with 107 wickets at 24 in 33 matches for Tasmania and Somerset since his move, while becoming one of the country’s most effective T20 bowlers .
“The last couple of years, it’s been about how the body feels,” Siddle said last month after the Adelaide Strikers were knocked out of the KFC BBL|12.
“I go back to England in the off-season so I still love cricket.
“I still want to play cricket in Australia so I’m definitely going for another year.”
James Pattinson’s retirement and Scott Boland’s promotion to the Test team have left Victoria’s bowling line-up inexperienced with the guidance of their young quicks, one of the main reasons behind the Vics’ approach.
Aged 23 and with just 28 first-class caps under his belt, fast-bowling all-rounder Will Sutherland is now the leader of the attack and has also been handed the Marsh Sheffield Shield captain’s duties in the absence of Peter Handscomb following his retirement. on the Test side during the ongoing Qantas Tour of India from Australia.
Since Boland joined the Test squad for Australia’s summer in late November after three Shield matches this season, the make-up of Victoria’s pace attack has been Sutherland, Fergus O’Neill, Cameron McClure, Sam Elliott, Jack Prestwidge and Mitchell Perry who have a total of 65 first-class matches between them.
Despite their lack of experience, Victoria have won their last two Shield matches to move into second place in the table and face South Australia in their final match of the Marsh One-Day Cup season on Sunday, with the winner advancing to face WA in the final on March 8.
Siddle’s agent met Hussey and CV Chief of Cricket Graham Manou at the state’s base CitiPower Center on Tuesday while the quick was turning out for his current state against WA at Blundstone Arena.
“For him to retire as a Victorian player – he played all three formats of the game for Australia and he should retire as a great Victorian,” Hussey said on RSN radio this morning.
“(Siddle) playing his cricket days as a Victorian player would be fantastic and would really help to tutor and mentor some of our younger bowlers to accelerate their development to play international cricket.
“It’s still a long way off. I’m really looking forward to doing the deal. I think Pete is a quality person and someone who buys into what we’re trying to achieve at Cricket Victoria.”
Siddle is Victoria’s 10th all-time scalp with 233 and played alongside Hussey in the 2014-15 Sheffield Shield state title.
There is also the potential for Siddle to play a role within the pathways program developing the state’s next generation of fast bowlers if he is lured back to Victoria.
Any deal for Siddle to return to Victoria should be finalized before the national recruitment deadline in May.