Robbie Trickett still has to pinch himself when he thinks about going toe to toe with Andy Bichel and Michael Kasprowicz.
These were blokes he spent years watching on television who had suddenly become his rivals when Trickett suited up for the Australian Country XII against a Queensland Bulls Masters side.
The Weston Creek Molonglo star's standout season at club level and an impressive showing for the ACT at the Australian country cricket championships in Toowoomba this week paved the way for his inclusion.
But that opportunity in which Trickett scored four not out is barely scratching the surface of what the ACT's return to the national tournament can do for cricket in the region.
"It's been six years since we've been in it. To just have an ACT team with the best players in Canberra has been really good," Trickett said.
"We might not have got as many wins as we would have hoped [four in 10 games] but we've learnt a lot.
"Hopefully everybody comes back and they're able to take something back to their own club team, and implement what we've learnt up here to try to become better players.
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"It's been great to get away with the team. We all know each other pretty well, it's good to play with some guys from other clubs."
Trickett went within a whisker of shattering Ian Garrity's 20-year-old record of 692 ACT first grade runs before Christmas, going to the holiday break on 688 runs.
He will have plenty of chances to build in pursuit of Cade Brown's record of 1253 runs 11 years ago.
Trickett and his representative teammates will miss this weekend's round of Douglas Cup action, but they will front up again next week for two-day games and a Twenty20 double-header on Sunday which was originally postponed due to poor air quality.
"Then we've got the ACT Aces on Australia Day, so that's exciting because we've got a pretty good team for that as well," Trickett said.
"I reckon I've had about one Sunday off the whole season, but that's probably a good thing. It means I've been playing a lot of cricket."
CRICKET ACT ROUND 10 - DOUGLAS CUP
Saturday: Day one - Ginninderra v ANU at Kippax Oval, Queanbeyan v Western District at Freebody Oval, Eastlake v Tuggeranong Valley at Kingston Oval, North Canberra-Gungahlin v Weston Creek Molonglo at Keith Tournier Memorial Oval. Play begins at 11am. Play continues on Sunday (day two) from 11am.