Greener pastures beckon in Tasmania for Lismore all-rounder
OPPORTUNITY is the key word for former Lismore all-rounder Simon Milenko as he prepares to pack his bags and head from Brisbane to Hobart in pursuit of a regular place in first-class cricket.
Milenko has been outstanding in the Brisbane club competition in recent years.
He won the Peter Burge Medal as player of the year in 2013-14 with 790 runs and 40 wickets, then last month played his part in Redlands' first premiership in 20 years.
But after making his first- class debut for Queensland against Victoria in February 2015, scoring 54 and taking 3-29, he didn't play any Sheffield Shield matches for the Bulls last season.
His only first-class appearance came for a Cricket Australia XI against the touring West Indies at Allan Border Field in Brisbane in December, when he took 5-76 in the first innings to help set up a 10-wicket win.
His overall first-class record with the ball is impressive, having taken 13 wickets at 13.23 with his fast-medium deliveries.
After being released from their Queensland contracts, Milenko and 26-year-old leg-spinner Cameron Boyce were quickly snapped up by Tasmania, where they will join other former Queensland players Ben Dunk, Dom Michael and Ben McDermott.
"It was all about opportunity," Milenko said yesterday.
"Queensland have a lot of depth and Tasmania were looking for an all-rounder.
"I'm 27 and want to get the most out of my career.
"Not making the team last season was disappointing but then no one really deserved to be dropped."
Milenko played seven domestic one-dayers for Queensland and also appeared in three Big Bash League games for the Brisbane Heat before joining the Hobart Hurricanes BBL squad last season where his only appearance was against the Adelaide Strikers.
He believes that time with the Hurricanes will ease his transition into the Tigers' state set-up.
"It gave me an insight into how their system works and allowed me to get to know the staff behind the scenes," he said.
"It certainly made it an easier decision.
"I'll be living in Hobart and training at Bellerive Oval. It's good that Cameron is heading down there too; we're good friends."
Milenko played for Eureka in Lismore junior cricket and moved to Brisbane after completing his HSC.
He attended university and qualified as an accountant but stopped working just over a year ago to concentrate on cricket.