Multi-sport talent Aaron Summers ready to rattle wickets in PSL

Nobody knew the name Aaron Summers until he clocked 150kph in his Big Bash debut for Hobart Hurricane on 21 December 2017. Despite returning a lackluster 3-0-31-0 figures against Melbourne Renegades, Summers caught the eyes for consistently hitting 150plus on the speed gun. In late November 2018, he was thrown in the deep against batting powerhouse of India, conceding 95 and 25 in wicket-less overs in a four-day game. But it was a learning phase for Summers who had tried his hands at baseball, football, tee ball and softball, before his love for fast bowling and mates not playing football with him in the summer, pushed him into cricket.

Karachi Kings signed the 22-year-old purely for his fast bowling. “I started playing cricket at 13 and am enjoying a lot as my mates were playing cricket in the summer, they didn’t play football with me (in summer) so I took to cricket which is the sports of the summer in Australia,” Summers said.

“I started playing cricket in the backyard with my cousins and always wanted to bowl fast like Shaun Taits, Brett Lees, Mitchell Johnsons and Shoaib Akhtars of the world,” said Summers, who built broad and strong shoulders by playing different games. So how and when he got to know that he was picked up in the PSL draft.

Listening to the players’ draft on the net when two hours into the draft, Karachi Kings snapped him up in the Silver category. He joins the likes of Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Mohammad Amir, Ravi Bopara, Imad Wasim and Ben Dunk to name a few. But for Summers, the most exciting name to meet is legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram.

“I am very excited to be the part of the PSL, its one of the biggest leagues in the world, something that I have watched in the previous seasons,” said Summers. “Hopefully I can play well for Karachi Kings. “The experience of playing the first game in the Big Bash was exciting. I grew up watching the BBL, being a member of the Perth Scorchers as a kid and watching games on TV.” Brought up in Perth and playing for Tasmania, Summers grew up playing ball games, football in winters; T-ball, softball and baseball in summers but bowling fast is what he loved the most. Intimidating batsmen and bowling as quick as he can.

Summers knows bowling on the dry pitches in UAE would be a big challenge. “I have never been to the UAE or Pakistan before but I have played in the heat and humidity in Darwin, so hopefully that helps me! I am well aware the pitches won’t bounce as much and will be slower so I’m going to be hopefully using my slower balls to good effect.”

So the most exciting moment will be when he meets Wasim. “I’m excited to meet Wasim. I know he is an absolute genius with the ball and is a big figure in Pakistani cricket, hopefully, I can learn something from him as well. I’m going to put my name up for the IPL auction and potentially a few more T20 tournaments that are in the Australian winter.” So how was the experience of bowling to the Indian batsmen, known for their powerful batting.

“Yeah, bowling to the Indian side was very challenging,” said Summers of the match he played for Cricket Australia XI. “I haven’t played four-day cricket and it probably wasn’t my format so it was a big challenge thrown against Indians, the likes of Virat Kohli and the rest of the Indians. It was awesome and a great experience and, hopefully, I get another chance to do well.” Summers love fast bowling so follow most of the fast bowlers who bowled over 150kph. “My favourite fast bowlers growing up were express bowlers like Taits, Shoaib Akhtars, Johnsons, Brett Lees of the world – most of the Australians – I loved watching them as I always wanted bowling fast.”

Published in Daily Times, February 19th 2019.