After only playing seven first-grade games in Victorian Premier Cricket, Monash Business/Arts student Peter Hatzoglou has earned his place up the ranks, having been chosen to play in the iconic 2020-2021 Big Bash League with the Melbourne Renegades.
Impressed by this incredible achievement, we spoke to Peter about the experience and how it felt accompanying some of the world’s best T20 players (and people he has idolised for years) on the field.
You made it into the Big Bash League after only playing seven first grade games in Vic Premier Cricket. Tell me all about the experience, how you got there and what it was like?
From Under 14’s to Under 18’s I was knocked back from every representative cricket trial I attended. As a young leg spin bowler I tried to emulate Shane Warne with slow, big turning leg breaks but as I eventually realised, it wasn’t natural to me. Once I started bowling in my own way (fast and with a high arm) I improved exponentially, moving up the grades and into the Big Bash really quickly.
How long have you been playing cricket for and what made you start?
Cricket has always been a substantial part of my life. When I was a child, my parents would leave equipment around the house and I’d subsequently play backyard games with my brothers. I played many sports as a child but it wasn’t until I was 13 or 14 that I really started to enjoy cricket as my favourite sport.
An article following your story described you as "mixing in with the world's best T20 players." Was this surreal to you — being on the field with people you may have idolised for so long?
Yes, it was totally surreal. There were games where I’d turn to some of these guys and say things like “I can’t believe I’m bowling to you”. I think they’d interpret it as a sledge, but I was genuinely just ecstatic to be competing with and against these guys.
What are you doing now? Do you have any cricket endeavours and goals you’re working towards?
It’s the Australian off-season at present, but cricket’s a global game and it’s played all-year ‘round. I’ve been training in preparation for the upcoming Big Bash and some of the overseas T20 competitions. For me, the ultimate ambition is to play for the Australian Cricket Team.
Tell us what your week-to-week training looks like and whether COVID-19 put a spanner in the works for you at all?
I’ve actually been documenting my day-to-day pre-season training via Instagram. Basically, there are three segments to my training namely Skill Development, Gym (power/mobility/injury prevention) and Cardio. COVID-19 has limited my access to the gym at times but I’m also very fortunate to have been a beneficiary of COVID induced situations — I scored my first Big Bash replacement player contract after an overseas player contracted COVID prior to entering Australia.
How are you juggling your cricket career and your Business/Arts studies simultaneously?
Prior to starting in professional cricket I was working for a company called Zenith Investment Partners. Juggling Zenith with study prepared me for cricket and study. I’ve also been a great beneficiary of remote learning. It’s flexible and it’s allowed me to study from afar, as cricket often takes me. I once heard a quote from the Australian Cricket Coach, Justin Langer, where the basic premise was that there’s always more time than you think, it’s somehow in our nature to get the job done, no matter how little time you may think you have.
Congratulations Peter, we can’t wait to see what’s next for you!
You can follow Peter’s journey via his Instagram, at @peterhatzoglou