Shane Warne feels that Melbourne Renegades cult hero Peter Hatzoglou, who has 16 BBL wickets this season, would be a handful on Indian pitches and hence could be in line to get an IPL contract. Plucked out of grade cricket, Hatzoglou’s remarkable rise has been the story of the summer.
It is not often that cricketers go from grade cricket to international fame in a matter of a month, but the story of Peter Hatzoglou has been such. An unconventional leg-spinner who relies more on drift and less on turn, Hatzoglou was plucked seemingly out of nowhere by the Melbourne Renegades, and the 22-year-old has, remarkably, shot to fame in no time. The leggie had the entirety of Australia talking about him after dismissing both Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Bancroft on debut, and his incredible returns for the season - highest wicket-taker for the Renegades with 16 wickets - have proved that he is no one-match-wonder.
Hatzoglou’s heart-warming rise has seen him already become a cult-hero, but according to legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne, there might be a lot more coming the youngster’s way. Warne, who served as Rajasthan Royals’ mentor in IPL 2020, is of the opinion that Hatzoglou would be a handful on Indian wickets and hence could easily get snapped up by a franchise in the IPL 2021 auction next month.
“I think there would be a lot of interest in Hatzoglou around the world. Especially in the IPL and tournaments like that. When you think of those subcontinent conditions, the next IPL is in India, on those Indian pitches and flat ones like that, bowling second – he could be a real handful bowling it fast into the pitch. He’d be hard to get away,” Warne told Fox cricket.
“I bet you he gets picked up in the IPL, the way he’s bowled. A lot of the franchises over there will look at him and go ‘Wow, he could be a real handful in India’.”
The greatest leg-spinner in the history of the game, Warne added that he was mighty impressed with the fellow leggie, who he feels is an extremely tough customer to deal with.
“I’ve been impressed with this guy. I think the way he bowls, the way he bowls it into the pitch, he gives it a fearful fizz in his hand before he bowls. He’s not a big spinner of the ball, but he does bowl out the back of the hand so he does bowl leg breaks.
“He can get the occasional one to straighten. He’s looking to bowl the ball fast, into the pitch, and hit the top of the stumps. It’s very hard to sweep him because he’s so fast and into the pitch. And it’s very hard to run at him, very hard to score off him.”
Expert opinions, at times, can be far-fetched, but by his own admission, Hatzoglou has ‘received interest’ from franchises across the world. The 22-year-old, speaking to cricket.com.au, confirmed that he would be enrolling his name in the auction for the 2021 IPL season, that is expected to take place next month.
"There's a few things coming my way from a couple of clubs, but I'm focused in on just playing well in these last two matches and the rest will take care of itself," Hatzoglou told cricket.com.au.
"I'm putting myself in the IPL draft and there's been a bit of interest from overseas from other clubs as well. But I'm not looking too far ahead. If I can finish this season well ... all that sort of stuff will come when it comes.
"It's pretty amazing, I'm overwhelmed by it all. Considering where I've come from, I'm just happy to be amongst it. It's incredible to have interest from other people."