AAP Other sport

Revived Faulkner ready for a fresh start

By AAP Newswire

Three years after his bowling heroics helped win the Cricket World Cup, Australian cricket's forgotten man James Faulkner is ready to get his career back on track.

A debilitating right knee injury has blighted Faulkner for the last two seasons as he went from being one of the premier international white ball all-rounders to losing his Cricket Australia contract last year.

A request to end his seven-year stint with the Melbourne Stars and return to Tasmania was granted and the left-arm quick said being in his home state has refreshed him mentally and physically.

"I had a great seven years in Melbourne but it's been great be back at home, surrounded by close friends and family," Faulkner told AAP.

"You do begin to doubt yourself when things aren't going right on the pitch. Fortunately I am not shy of talking about things with teammates and other players.

"My knee feels as good as it ever has and I also have a great support network around me who help keep me going and that is something I am very lucky to have."

A successful two-month spell in the UK with Lancashire ended on Saturday with defeat to Worcestershire in the semi-finals of England's T20 Blast competition at Edgbaston.

But that loss hasn't dimmed Faulkner's enjoyment of his return to Manchester although he could be in doubt for Wednesday's JLT Cup clash for Tasmania against Victoria due to a calf injury he picked up in Birmingham.

"I love coming over here and playing with these boys," he said.

"I've had success in the past and I have nothing but good memories of being a Lancashire player."

Faulkner's calf problem forced him out of the attack after just two overs that yielded only eight runs and a wicket.

His absence with the ball was badly missed by his side with 26 runs being clubbed off the 18th over that he'd been due to bowl and Worcestershire's total of 169 then proved too much as Lancashire fell 20 runs short of victory.

With the World Cup being played in the UK next year, Faulkner hopes his experience and previous success in English conditions can catapult him back into the thoughts of the Australian selectors.

A second string attack were pulverised by England's batsmen in a 5-0 ODI series loss earlier this year and Faulkner's banking on a strong white ball season for Tasmania to prove he's not washed up at 28.

"I've never given up hope of playing for Australia again," he said.

"I think I can still offer something and my experience of English conditions will hopefully carry some weight.

"But I know that counts for nothing unless I can have strong season for Tasmania and that is my goal.

"I'd love to be back here helping us retain our World Cup. Winning man of the match three years ago was a career highlight and I'd love to repeat it."