Nathan McAndrew says the chance to learn from Australia's top cricketers is fueling a dream to make his Sheffield Shield debut.
The Oak Flats all-rounder is one step closer to his dream becoming a reality after he secured his first state contract on Thursday.
McAndrew, who was plucked out of grade cricket to represent NSW in two one-day games last season, told the Mercury he had learned a lot training with the Blues squad.
"I have the chance to work all of the coaches, and be around the level of talent that's in there - especially with all of the Australian boys in there at the moment," the 26-year-old said.
"To have the entire fast bowling cartel of Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood in there, to be in the gym and bowling with them, has been pretty spectacular. We're well into the swing of things with the gym, running and all of the skills work, it's been really good getting back into it.
"I definitely want to make my Shield debut, that's the pinnacle for any state cricketer. I obviously got a taste of the one-day [format] with the two games I played, and I definitely want to be a consistent member in that squad."
McAndrew has been part of the Sydney Thunder's Big Bash League squad for five seasons. However, he had to wait until last September to make his NSW debut.
"To be honest, I felt pretty ready. I've been around the Big Bash for a quite a few years now so it kind of felt like an extension on that," McAndrew said.
"But I did learn a lot from the pre-season and training camp going into that one-day debut, just being around the squad as they talked through their tactics and approaches to one-day cricket. It expanded my feel for the game and read of the game, when to take it on and back your instincts. Especially in white ball cricket where you always want to push the game forward. I think it really suited my natural game and gave me a lot of confidence to play my natural game."
Heading into the 2020/21 season, McAndrew said he hoped to build on his taste of first class cricket.
"I want to play as many games as I can, that's no question, but I think I want to continue to work on my game and learn as much as I possible can, with the bat and ball," he said.
"If I focus on those kind of things, the selections will take care of themselves."
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