Retirement and role changes on Hornet's lips
THE EMERGENCE of up and coming stars has made Ipswich/Logan Hornets veteran Dan Wilson consider what his cricketing future might look like.
The Hornets closed out their latest Brisbane Premier Cricket First Grade campaign with a loss to Sunshine Coast at the weekend.
Wilson, the club's long-time premier batsman and batting coach said he would "have a think during the off-season about what my intentions are for cricket next season" when discussing his role at the club beyond this year.
"I don't think it's a realistic option that I won't play cricket next year. Probably what's up for debate is what role I play in the team, and I'll basically do whatever Anthony and Aaron want me to do," Wilson said.
Statistically, Wilson still deserves First Grade consideration. His season average of 33.67 ranked third at the Hornets behind Harry Wood (43.76) and Levi Thomson-Matthews (38.81).
His one-day form (103.5 average at 98.6) was third-best in the competition, and went a long way toward the Hornets reaching the semi-finals for the first time.
But it is "for the long term benefit of the club" that Wilson says he is willing to have the conversation with skipper and coach, adding there would be no standing in the way of a potential recruit or promising Second Grade player taking his place in the top team.
"I'm at the stage where I'm happy to do that," Wilson said.
"Not playing isn't on my agenda. But what role I play, and whether that's First or Second Grade is probably up for debate.
"And I'd be very much guided by what they (Anthony and Aaron) want me to do."
When Wilson made the voluntary decision to move down the order after Christmas, it was something of a symbolic changing of the guard at the Hornets.
He believes Wood and Thomson-Matthews can be considered "the two best players at the top of the order" at the Hornets now, and backed the talented pair to "take their game to that next step" in 2019-20.
"Harry made some really good strides this year. His bowling in the second half of the year was massive for us, and he had some outstanding performances particularly in white ball cricket with the bat," Wilson said.
"By his own admission he would not be happy with the amount of starts he had in two-day cricket without getting a hundred.
"The big challenge for he and Levi now is to lead our batting moving forward.
"Previously that's been my role over the last few years.
"Now it's on them to take their game to the next step and perform every week rather than every now and then.
"I expect Harry and Levi to really grab hold next year and perform even better."
Reflecting on the Hornets' latest campaign, Wilson said there were plenty of positives to take away.
"From a two-day cricket point of view we're obviously disappointed with where we finished. We had high hopes going into the season," he said.
"But the other side of that is we made our first semi-final in the one-day competition . . . before this season I don't now if the Hornets had even won a 50-over game previously.
"We were also still in with a chance to make the T20 finals going into the last game.
"There were plenty of highlights."
Wilson was also impressed with Aaron Moore's work in his first season as club coach.
"I think he did a really good job as far as keeping everyone up," Wilson said.
"Since Christmas we haven't had a lot to play for as far as winning trophies, but our traing sessions have been as good as it has been in my time at the Hornets.
"He's really preached that the work this season will help next season."