Injury-riddled Jason Behrendorff committed to red ball

Sport. Sheffield Shield final at Manuka Oval, day one, between NSW and WA. WA bowler, Jason Behrendorff, walks back to his mark before bowling to NSW opener, Ryan carters.  21st. March 2014 Canberra Times photograph by Graham Tidy.
Sport. Sheffield Shield final at Manuka Oval, day one, between NSW and WA. WA bowler, Jason Behrendorff, walks back to his mark before bowling to NSW opener, Ryan carters. 21st. March 2014 Canberra Times photograph by Graham Tidy.

Jason Behrendorff has no plans to ditch first class cricket with his latest injury setback doing nothing to deter him from his Test ambitions.

Behrendorff will be wrapped in cotton wool until the Twenty20 Big Bash after a stress fracture-related injury left him barely able to "bend over or move at all" during a recent Sheffield Shield match.

The Canberra product has his eye on a baggy green but some Cricket Australia officials feel Behrendorff will be better off concentrating on one-day cricket rather than risking further injuries with his back.

Behrendorff made his Australian debut in a Twenty20 series in India in October but concerns for his long-term fitness have been raised, given he has waged a war with injury for three seasons.

The left-arm paceman's fracture will never fully heal, meaning he is prone to painful flare-ups associated with the scar tissue, but his eyes remain locked on the Test arena.

"For me the big thing is I love playing red ball cricket and that's something I enjoy doing and continue to strive to do as well," Behrendorff said.

"Ideally best case scenario is that my back will settle down and ideally I won't have any issues in the future. No one has got a crystal ball and no one is knowing exactly what's going on.

"It's a bit of a trial and error process and at the moment it's unfortunately not going so well in red ball. We'll target the Big Bash and see how we go after that."

WA coach Justin Langer doesn't want to see Behrendorff give up on long-form cricket despite the 27-year-old being ruled out of WA's Shield clash with Victoria at the MCG, which began on Sunday.

Behrendorff has pencilled in Perth's clash with the Sydney Sixers at the Sydney Cricket Ground on December 23 for his return to cricket.

The BBL looms as the ideal platform for Behrendorff to relaunch his season and force his way back into Australian contention.

"The good thing about the Big Bash is I don't need to worry about workloads as such and building them up for a Shield game. It's only four overs an innings, it's not such an issue," Behrendorff said.

"Big Bash is in the forefront of my mind at the moment and that's what we're working towards. Ideally everything will go well and I'll be playing in the Big Bash.

"It's such a great set up at the Scorchers and we've had great success over the whole six years the competition has been around.

"It's a great team set-up to be involved in, it's lots of fun playing at 'the Furnace' [WACA] and we've always got really good fans there.

"To play in front of packed houses every week is something as a domestic cricketer you don't get very often, so it's exciting."

The Scorchers are preparing for their final season at the WACA Ground with the club set to move into Perth Stadium next season - but could play at the new venue as soon as this summer if they host a final.

Behrendorff and his Scorchers teammates were recently treated to a tour of the venue, which will be officially opened when Australia host England in a one-day international on January 28.

The Scorchers will play a "test" event against England second XI at the stadium to assess the drop-in pitch on December 13, and play an intra-club game there two days earlier.

"It's remarkable, what they've done there is fantastic and walking out in the middle of the ground and getting a feel for it... they've done a very good job," Behrendorff said.

This story Injury-riddled Jason Behrendorff committed to red ball first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.