Sport

Former ACT Comet Greg West not backing down from Big Bash ''banter'' with Hill

It's the mystery which set social media alight - just what did Adelaide Striker Greg West say to Hobart Hurricane Michael Hill on Wednesday night to annoy him so much?

"I don't think it's paper recommended but I basically told him his last three shots were pretty poor, and it went from there," West said when asked that very question on Thursday. 

Greg West, left, and Tim Ludeman celebrate the wicket of Daniel Christian on Wednesday night.
Greg West, left, and Tim Ludeman celebrate the wicket of Daniel Christian on Wednesday night. Photo: James Elsby

"Hopefully Michael Hill can buy a ticket to the semis and come and watch us play."

It was said in a joking fashion, but it's clear the former ACT Comet likes a bit of verbal when bowling to get himself fired up. 

The Strikers won thanks to a last ball six from Jake Lehmann, which sealed a home semi and ended Hobart's finals hopes.

West moved to Adelaide over winter and impressed Strikers captain Brad Hodge so much at a net session, he was given a Strikers contract.

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He handled the step up to playing in front of 50,000 people well by taking 2-24 off four overs on debut, including the wicket of Hill after they exchanged words earlier when he topped him to his feet with a bouncer. 

Asked about the banter in a pitch-side interview with Channel Ten Hill said "West? That left-armer? Nah, nah, nah. He had a little bit to say. He probably hasn't really bowled that well. He's got me but he hasn't really bowled so well, so we'll see how he goes when he has to come out and face some of our quicks."

Hodge was quick with a retort when told of Hill's response by the Channel Ten commentators. 

"He said he didn't bowl that well?"," Hodge said.

"I thought he raced a couple past his melon. That's what I saw. I haven't seen him [Hill] around this comp for a while. Big words, I would have thought."

After Hill received some criticism on social media the Hurricanes posted a picture on Twitter of the batsman with West in their dressing sheds.

"It's all good people... #banter," they tweeted. 

To his credit Hill also tweeted an apology - "Just having a bit of fun. Sorry if it came across poorly, well done to ADL and the young man on his debut. They/he were too good."

Hill also complimented West on his debut in the sheds afterward. 

"It's got a lot of media attention at the moment, but like any other game it's healthy and just a bit of harmless fun," West said. 

"I think he was getting smashed on social media and I felt a bit sorry for him, I thought let's squash this here before you end up getting hammered some more. 

"That was a bit of a peace keeper that one, a bit of fun."

Given a start after Kane Richardson's Australia call-up, West said trying to throw batsmen off his game has always been a part of his game, and helps him produce his best. 

"With the flat wickets and way Twenty20 is the bowlers are up against it from day one, if you think you can get a mental edge you'd be silly not to use that," he said.

"For some players it doesn't work, if I can do anything to advantage my bowling in Twenty20 I'll certainly use it. 

"It was difficult [making the step up] but coming out of district cricket you just have to stick to what you know. 

"I bowled the same as I would in any other game that I've played, including getting stuck into the batsmen and making myself feel as comfortable as possible out there.

"To get the best results for the team I have to be at my best, and if that's getting involved in the game and getting in the batsman's head, that's just the way I play my cricket."

West's rapid rise from park cricket to the Big Bash was a case of right place, right time. 

Hodge said during Wednesday's coverage he was impressed with West's aggression after he "tried to knock my block off about ten times" in an early season net session. 

"I was in the Emerging [South Australia] Redbacks squad and I thought it would be good to get some overs out and meet someone like Brad Hodge," West said. 

"I didn't think too much of it, I turned up and bowled how I always bowl, he seemed to like it and it went from there. 

"I got a call from [Strikers coach] Jason Gillespie, it was all very fast and exciting for me."

The 21-year-old grew up on the Central Coast and joined the Canberra system after he narrowly missed selection in NSW under-17 and under-19 sides when playing at Newcastle. 

The left-armer credits the Comets, where he played alongside fellow Striker Jono Dean, for helping open doors in his career. 

"It obviously shows there's a successful pathway through ACT and the reason why is they give young blokes an opportunity, maybe before they're ready, to show them what it takes," he said. 

"It gives you that passion to train a bit harder and get to that level."