LEWIS Hatchett was delighted to be back involved for Sussex County Cricket Club in the opening County Championship game of the season, at Surrey, last week.
Hatchett, 22, from Upper Beeding had a frustrating season last year when he did not play a game in the 1st XI – having taken 12 wickets in four first-class games in 2010.
A hamstring injury sustained in pre-season last year ruled him out of the opening games and he could not break into the team after that.
The left-arm seamer went back to South Australia for the third time over the winter and believes that helped him get back into the first-team squad.
He said: “To go from the season I had last year to coming back from Australia and getting selected was quite nice and I was very happy.
“The bowlers all bowled fantastically well last year, which made it hard for me to get in after my hamstring injury. James Anyon had his best season ever, Amjad Khan bowled consistently well, Naveed Arif was in and out and Monty Panesar was a superstar for us.
“But I’d put my name in the hat for selection as I’d bowled as well as anyone else in nets and backed myself to be in with a shout.
“We played four seamers against Surrey, which gave me a chance of selection.”
Hatchett took the wicket of former England player Mark Ramprakash in the first innings as he finished with 1-43 from 12 overs and 0-30 from four overs in the second innings as Sussex lost by 86 runs.
He said: “The wicket of Ramprakash was good. That over went perfectly and it was pleasing to get out such a good player.”
On the rest of the season, Hatchett said: “It’s just wait and see, really. We’ve still got Monty Panesar and Steve Magoffin to come in.
“When I first got into the side, I was a player who could come in and out, but now I’m a player who can come into the side and do well.
“I’m still quite young, so I’m just looking at every game as a bonus, really, but I want to play as much as possible.”