Ben Duckett isn’t alone as an Englishman hoping to create happier memories of Australia, compared to 2017-18.
But, unlike those preparing for the Ashes opener, Duckett’s ambition is a BBL title and reboot of an international career derailed by being the man in the middle of England’s nadir four years ago.
Duckett, set to launch the Brisbane Heat’s campaign against the Sydney Thunder in Canberra on Monday, wasn’t part of England’s Test squad in 2017.
But he did the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place, pouring a beer on Jimmy Anderson in a Perth bar as England battled perceptions of a drinking culture while clutching the urn they would soon relinquish.
The England A batter was suspended, fined, and has since played a sole Twenty20 international.
It quickly emerged several players had played up on the tourists’ first night out after a temporary relaxing of a midnight curfew, with Anderson describing Duckett’s misdeed as “silly”, “a bit of nonsense” and a “non-event”.
But then-coach Trevor Bayliss, having already fumed about Jonny Bairstow’s headbutt, incredulously urged players to “pull their heads in”.
Duckett, having rarely talked about the night in question in depth, fully expects “to get some chat about that” in coming weeks.
“Which is absolutely fine. I’m more than prepared,” Duckett told AAP.
“A lot has changed since then. I’ve grown up as a person.
“I know what happened that evening.
“Jimmy and I, we’re mates I’d say.
“Things can be blown up a lot bigger than they actually are.
“Hopefully I can leave Australia with some better memories this time.”
Duckett, who will be on BBL debut after playing T20 franchise cricket in South Africa and Pakistan, admitted he had to put things right and “get back on side” with England’s cricket board.
The 27-year-old has plenty of time to make a case for an international recall.
It will be easier said than done given the glut of white-ball stars England have at their disposal.
But a productive BBL stint could prove particularly timely, especially given the left-hander will play at the same grounds hosting next year’s T20 World Cup.
“I’m trying to break into that England side again. It’s extremely, extremely tough to do,” Duckett said.
“When I was younger, that probably affected me.
“But now I realise I’m lucky enough to play around the world in competitions like this.
“I’ll try to score as many runs as I can for the Heat and see where that takes me.”
Duckett and Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman Duckett trained in Sydney before linking up with Heat teammates in the nation’s capital because of Queensland’s border restrictions.