Brisbane Heat import Dan Lawrence is desperate to resume his love affair with Australian pitches after a tedious two-week hotel quarantine spell.
Having served his fortnight in isolation in Perth, the 23-year-old English batsman met his Heat teammates for the time on Tuesday when he also endured a rusty net session at Allan Border Field.
Lawrence’s scratchy time in the nets was to be expected, having limited himself to 20 minutes of shadow batting per day while in quarantine.
“I’ve never actually spent that amount of time on my own before,” he said.
“I learnt a lot about myself. It was tough.
“Thankfully, Cricket Australia sent some fitness stuff.
“It was just trying to find the best way to make the day go as fast as possible without just sitting there in front of the TV.
“I wouldn’t really want to do it again, but now I’m on the other side of it, I’m quite happy.”
His happiness is helped by the thought of again batting on Australian pitches, starting with the Heat’s BBL clash against the Melbourne Stars at Manuka Oval on Friday night.
Lawrence said he made a wise decision last summer in declining a Pakistan Super League contract to instead tour Australia with the England Lions, his nation’s second-tier team.
The Essex player hit two centuries in a tour haul of 498 runs at an average of 98.6 and also took 11 wickets with his off-spinners.
“It was a tour that I really wanted to do well in,” Lawrence said.
“I just loved how the wickets generally were really consistent and good for batting.
“I just wanted to bat for long periods of time and put a lot of runs on the board, and thankfully, I did.
“That’s a confidence-boost coming out here again. I feel quite accustomed to Australian conditions, so I’m really excited to get going.”
Another one of the Heat’s imports – Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman – remains in a Queensland hospital as he continues to recover from COVID-19.
Mujeeb isn’t expected to play for the Heat until Brisbane’s clash against the Adelaide Strikers on December 23 at the Gabba.
“On the Brisbane players’ chat on WhatsApp there’s been a lot of love sent his way just to make sure he’s all fine,” Lawrence said.
“From what I’ve heard, he’s doing quite well. He didn’t actually get it (COVID-19) too badly, just the loss of taste a little bit.
“Fingers crossed he keeps recovering well, and he can get out of quarantine as quickly as possible.”