Jason Behrendorff of the Scorchers celebrates taking the wicket of Peter Forrest of the Heat during the Big Bash League final match on January 19, 2013 in Perth. Photo: Getty Images
Canberra's cricket contingent has declared it's time to ''make an impact'' on the big stage to prove the capital deserves a team in the domestic competitions.
Cricket ACT will meet with officials in the next two weeks to ramp up discussions about being added to the restructured Ryobi Cup.
Ten former ACT Comets have state contracts this season and a handful of others will be fighting for a call-up to the Twenty20 Big Bash competition.
Down the order
And despite having to leave the capital to launch their careers, NSW wicketkeeper Ryan Carters says being the ''little guys'' as ACT juniors instilled a steely determination to succeed.
Carters and his ACT under-19s teammates Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia) and Jason Floros (Queensland) will play in the Ryobi Cup.
''When we were coming through, our under-19s coach Andrew Dawson told us that we were the little guys as the ACT and we had to take it to the bigger states,'' Carters said.
Ryan Carters in play during the Sydney Thunder vs The Sydney Sixes at ANZ Stadium in 2012. Photo: Brendan Esposito
''We had to believe we could beat them and not be intimidated. That team attitude transferred to an individual level is what makes you believe you can make it in the national environment. I relished that little guy tag.''
As revealed in July, Cricket ACT chairman Ian McNamee is lobbying for Canberra to be included in the Ryobi Cup from 2015.
A Canberra team could also include players from southern NSW.
Jason Floros of the Bulls plays a shot during the Ryobi One Day Cup final match between the Victorian Bushrangers and the Queensland Bulls at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 27, 2013. Photo: Getty Images
The Comets have been recognised as a cricket breeding ground in recent seasons and players are being recruited out of the capital.
Nathan Lyon and Brad Haddin are in Australia's Test team while Comets captain Jono Dean has a contract with the Adelaide Strikers for the Big Bash competition.
Manuka Oval had lights installed earlier this year and can now host day-night fixtures.
Fast-bowler Behrendorff - who claimed the massive scalp of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar in the Champions League - credited Canberra's player rise to army-style boot camps with the junior ACT sides. ''They took us out in the bush and we had to survive, you can't manufacture that sort of thing individually or for a team,'' Behrendorff said.
''I always knew I was lucky in the ACT to get opportunities … I think it's awesome but this is just my foot in the door. I've worked hard to get here, but I've got to work harder to stay here.
''Hopefully this year is a big for all of us.''
Behrendorff started playing with Floros at Tuggeranong when he was 12 years old. But their friendship will be put on hold when Behrendorff's Western Australia takes on Floros' Queensland at Bankstown Oval on Friday.
Floros, 22, was the hero for Queensland in the Ryobi Cup final last season, scoring 47 off 32 balls to help the Bulls clinch victory.
All-rounder Floros spent the winter in England, averaging 50 with the bat and claimed 35 wickets at an average of 15.
''We all get white-line fever when we play against each other … [Behrendorff] will definitely go after me,'' former Australian under-19 captain Floros said.
''It's nice and a bit surreal to have so many Canberra guys out there.
''But it just shows the talent that is in Canberra, it shows we can match it with the big cities.''