HAPPY HUNTING GROUND: Alstonvilles Brendan Drew will return to the Gabba this week for the start of the 2007-08 season. GETTY
HAPPY HUNTING GROUND: Alstonvilles Brendan Drew will return to the Gabba this week for the start of the 2007-08 season. GETTY

Drew ready to rumble

ALSTONVILLE fast bowler Brendan Drew has recovered from the injuries that cost him a spot in last year's winning Pura Cup side and is ready to fire for the Tasmanian Tigers in tomorrow's one-day domestic season opener.

"I can't wait to bowl the first ball ... I'm itching and ready to go," Drew said after a training session in Brisbane yesterday.

Drew has been named in the Tasmanian Tigers' squad to take on the Queensland Bulls at the Gabba in the first day-night match of 2007/08 Ford Ranger Cup and in the Pura Cup match starting on Friday.

Injuries Drew played most of last season with the Tigers but struggled to overcome a late string of minor injuries and was relegated to 12th man in the team's Pura Cup final win over NSW.

"It was quite frustrating at the time," he said. "Looking back at it now, it doesn't get me down.

"I was still a part of the Pura Cup winning side and it still makes me smile to think of it.

"I finished last season with a few niggles and injuries which ended up costing me my spot. "Now I'm back to fitness. " During the off-season, Drew spent three months with the Academy of Sport's Centre of Excellence and was selected to play for Australia in an emerging players tournament against teams from South Africa, New Zealand and India.

Indian tour The emerging players team also toured India where they were undefeated over three weeks. "The country was an eye-opener," Drew said.

"Away from cricket it was a bit of a culture shock. "The cricket was quite tough, playing in 40 degree heat with 80 per cent humidity were tough conditions to bowl in but it was good preparation for the season ahead." The Tigers will go into tomorrow's match full of confidence after winning a pre-season tournament on the Sunshine Coast against South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand A.

"We've had a good preparation and go in with a lot of confidence," Drew said.

"Last year we proved to ourselves that we can do it, there is that belief, so hopefully we can continue that winning culture.

"We didn't finish where we wanted to in the one-day competition so hopefully we'll make more of a fist of it."



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