Cameron Boyce of the Renegades.
Cameron Boyce of the Renegades.

Why Boyce could be World Cup bolter

Today marks exactly three years since Cameron Boyce last represented Australia.

Boyce dismissed Indian opener Rohit Sharma and then bowled the great Virat Kohli to be the pick of Australia's bowlers (2-28) in a T20 run-fest at the SCG.

"The last time I played for Australia, and the games I did play for Australia, I did a really good job," Boyce told the Herald Sun.

"I think my numbers show that. But I feel like I'm bowling even better now than what I was when I was playing for Australia."

Boyce is right. His international T20 economy rate (6.6), average (19) and strike-rate (17.2) all top his domestic digits.

And his economy rate for the Melbourne Renegades this season has gone to a new level, a stingy 6.2.

In a World Cup year and with Australia's spin plans still unclear, could Boyce bolt into the frame?

"Realistically, do I think I'm on the radar? Probably not," Boyce said.

"But my numbers in the Big Bash show I could do that job.

"If I finish the year well and if the Renegades go to the end, and even win the thing, and I'm bowling well, then you never know.

"Do I think that I still have what it takes to bowl at that level? Yeah, absolutely I do."

Shane Warne said recently Boyce was in career-best form and the tweaker agreed they were coming out sweeter than ever.

But now there's a new chapter in the Boyce book - his batting.

Boyce's lusty sixes struck in Geelong caught Aaron Finch's eye and the captain chose to open with him in Sydney against the Thunder last week.

Boyce, 29, returned to No.8 against the Thunder last night, but a trademark batting collapse brought him to the crease with runs required.

An unbeaten half-century later (51 off 22) and the cricket world woke up to his power hitting.

"I feel like my batting has improved so much," Boyce said.

"My batting has come a long way the last few years. I'm starting to think more like a batsman rather than a tailender that can try and get a few runs away.

"It's about trying to dictate where the bowler's going to bowl and predict that. I've been trying to get to the offside and clear the fence over legside."


Cameron Boyce on his way to a half-century against Sydney Thunder.
Cameron Boyce on his way to a half-century against Sydney Thunder.


Boyce boasts the No.4 strike-rate in the BBL, bats in the middle order in grade cricket - where he owns multiple tons - and has opened the in limited-overs cricket in Queensland.

Could that influence selectors mulling the 15-man World Cup squad?

"It's becoming a vital part of anyone's game, really," Boyce said.

"If you have a team that can essentially bat all the way down to nine 10 or 11 then that's adding another string to your bow.

"If you can go out there and clear the fence or get the runs that the team needs. If that's one of the things they want then hopefully they're thinking about me as well."

Imagine the nerves at bowling to a lower order featuring Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins and Boyce.

Growing up, Boyce's identical twin brother Chris was the better batsman but the next Christmas Day backyard battle might be Cameron's.


Shane Warne says Cameron Boyce is in career-best form.
Shane Warne says Cameron Boyce is in career-best form.


Boyce recently had his baby girl Bonnie's heartbeat tattooed on his arm, along with her name and birthday.

And left without a state contract, kids are set to become his focus as Boyce begins study to become a primary school teacher.

"Obviously living in Queensland, if Queensland came to me and said we need you to play a game you'd never say no," Boyce said.

"But realistically I don't think that'll happen. My performances in grade cricket this year have been really good.

"The lifespan of a cricketer varies for different players. I played for nine or nearly 10 years and if that's it, that's it."

Boyce celebrated his fist Marvel Stadium wicket as a Renegade on Wednesday night and while the wickets haven't flowed this season, he has done his job.

"I used to think of myself as a leggie who was all about wickets," Boyce said.

"But this year's been a little bit different. I feel like I've bowled really well and my runs are probably down from the last few seasons I would've thought.

"I feel like I'm bowling as good as I ever have. I feel like I've bowled better this year than what I did the past few years."

Boyce put that down to experience. In his seventh BBL season, and playing for his third club, there's not too many batsmen he hasn't had a crack at.

"It's all about getting to the game and when you're standing at the top of the mark whoever's at the other end understanding what they do or where they're trying to hit you," Boyce said.

Teammate Kane Richardson leads the BBL with 19 scalps, and pointed out Boyce's pressure in the middle overs was creating wickets at the other end.

In the middle overs Boyce is one of just four players to concede less than a run a ball, alongside mystery spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Heat), Rashid Khan (Strikers) and Test quick Jhye Richardson (Scorchers).

That trio will be in England this winter. Will Boyce join them?


BBL08: 6.2

BBL07: 7.9

BBL06: 9.1

BBL05: 8.4

BBL04: 8.2

BBL03: 7.4

BBL02: 8.1