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Yorkshire's Steve Patterson profits from absence of Australian ace Mitchell Starc
STEVE PATTERSON is one man who will be delighted to see Mitchell Starc running in to bowl for the opposition when Yorkshire take on Sydney Sixers in their latest Champions League t20 assignment on Tuesday.
Australian fast bowler Starc, a revelation in this summer’s domestic competition as an overseas player for the Tykes, has to play for his home city team.
But if he was on the Yorkshire team sheet, Patterson would almost certainly not have got his chance to shine during the last week.
Patterson, 29, has made the most of the absence of Starc and injured all-rounder Rich Pyrah to play an integral part in the county’s qualification for the main event and a place in Group 'B'.
Despite not playing a domestic 20-over match in 2012 previously, he took three prized wickets in the wins over UVA Next and Trinidad and Tobago.
And ahead of Tuesday's clash with the Sixers at Newlands in Cape Town, he said: “I would have liked to have played more Twenty20 this summer, but the other lads did well and deserved the right to be playing.
“I’ve kept working hard on my training and my game knowing that if there’s an opportunity, I’ll be ready to take it.
“I’ve got a chance over here, and have been part of a winning side.
“It’s been a brilliant week. We’re delighted to qualify for the main tournament. We came out here knowing that if we played the cricket we’re capable of, we’d have a chance. It’s proved right so far.
“There was not a lot expected of us coming out here. We had expectations of ourselves, but I don’t think many people gave us an opportunity.
“It’s going to be fantastic. We’ve given ourselves a chance now, and we’ve got nothing to lose. We’re playing against the best teams in the world. We back ourselves 100 per cent.
“If we play the kind of cricket we’ve played all season, both back home and over here, there’s no reason why we can’t do well.”
Patterson even had to reschedule his wedding to fiancee Beth, originally inked in for October 6, to travel to South Africa. He will now get married next month instead when the Yorkshire squad begin their winter break.
“I think she was a little bit upset at the time, but seeing how well we’ve done and what we’ve got to come, I definitely think it’s worth it,” he added.
“A couple more weeks here to give it all we’ve got, get married and then go on honeymoon. You can’t have a better time than that.”
Sydney go in search of their second win having already beaten Chennai Super Kings by 14 runs in their opening match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The Australians are likely to field nine players with international experience, including former Yorkshire batsman Michael Lumb, the current Nottinghamshire and England Twenty20 opener.
They are captained by former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.