Ben Cutting has lit the fuse for a fiery grudge match with Brisbane Heat, upset at management he claims were behind a mass exodus out of the Big Bash club.
Cutting was one of six local players to leave the Heat at the end of last season with a year still on his contract, ending his nine-season stint with the club that dated back to BBL01.
The allrounder was quickly snapped up by Sydney Thunder, but ahead of his first clash with Brisbane on Monday he admitted his pain at leaving.
“I’m at peace with it now, but it certainly hurt at the time,” Cutting said.
“I was given a year left to run a couple of weeks before the Big Bash started last season so I had another week to run this season.
“So walking into my meeting for this season and being told a few things I didn’t think were true, and it’s turned out that they haven’t been, it’s disappointing.
“There was a lot of memories there, playing in front of your home crowd, all your mates, Christmas time at home as well.
“It was difficult, particularly the way it all happened.
Cutting earlier this year said he’d not been given the chance to open the batting at Brisbane, claiming it had been promised to him last season.
But he revealed after the Thunder’s first-up loss to Melbourne Stars it wasn’t alone in his list of grievances following his exit from his home-town franchise.
“There were plenty of other things, I don’t need to say too much,” Cutting said.
“You just need to look at the guys who walked away from the Heat. There were five or six of us.
“So there was definitely something in the water.”
James Pattinson, Josh Lalor, Jack Prestwidge, Matt Renshaw and Cameron Gannon were the other players to depart.
Cutting retired from first-class cricket in 2018 and has not been part of Queensland’s state contract list for the past two seasons.
And while he refused to name names, he will not hide his feelings towards Heat management.
“With COVID they have cut a lot of people out of management,” Cutting said.
“But there is still a couple left in management who were making the decisions and are probably the reason five or six of us did walk away.
“Most of those (players still there) are great mates of mine and a lot of them are coming to my wedding.
“But I still want to stick it into them on the cricket field.”