Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill hopes to be part of an Ashes campaign which re-engages the Australian sporting public after prolonged pay negotiations threatened the series.
Former Test great Ian Healy last week declared Nevill should be recalled to wear the Baggy Green if selectors choose to drop Matthew Wade after the loss to Bangladesh last week.
While Wade was retained for the second Test which started on Monday, Nevill was conducting a Cricket NSW clinic with Woonona primary school pupils.
But the 31-year-old said he was focused on delivering for NSW in a bid to earn the Australian call up to play England, starting in Brisbane in November.
“It’s all about playing the best cricket I can,” he said.
“And that’s going to be for NSW in the one-day tournament and then there’s going to be two or three Shield games before the Ashes squad gets announced.”
Nevill said the Ashes is a perfect opportunity to re-connect with the public, after the entire series – and the tour to Bangladesh – was in doubt after a bitter player pay dispute with Cricket Australia.
“As a cricket fan myself, you love having an Ashes summer, you love having cricket the prime focus of sport in the Australian summer,” Nevill said. “Which is where it belongs.”
Wade remains under pressure to score runs at No.7, after coach Darren Lehmann and the selectors decided against turning to stand-by option Peter Handscomb for the second Test in Bangladesh.
“I said at the time (last summer) Peter Nevill was unlucky to get dropped,” Healy told Wide World of Sports.
“I consider him the best gloveman in the country, and he’d just made an unbeaten 60 in Perth, then got dropped a match later.
“If Wade has a good Test in Chittagong I expect he’ll be there at the Gabba.
“But if he struggles the selectors will definitely be looking around. It may come down to who does the best in the first couple of Shield matches.
“But the Ashes is no time to be looking at someone new. If it’s not Wade, they have to go back to Nevill.”
In 17 matches at Test level, Nevill took 61 catches and two stumpings, making three half-centuries at an average of 22.28.
Nevill’s hopes of a recall comes as NSW teammate, South Coast batsman Nic Maddinson, hopes to rebuild his career. Maddinson was dropped after three Tests against South Africa and Pakistan.
The 25-year-old said he had been working on technique changes in the off-season in a bid to dominate the Sheffield Shield scene.
“I think it’s going to be a lot harder than what it was previously,” Maddinson said of a Test recall.
“I think I was picked on what I could have done, rather than what I had done in Shield cricket.
“So obviously that card is gone now and now it’s about doing what guys like (Adam) Voges had done in the past and go and score and earn your selection.”