CRICKET: New Australian leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson was shocked by his call-up but now hopes to meet the man who campaigned for it.
Swepson flew from Brisbane to Melbourne on Sunday morning for Tuesday night's Big Bash game against the Stars and it will be perfect timing if he gets to meet Shane Warne for the first time.
Leg-spinning great Warne wanted Swepson in the squad and got his wish after the four-man panel took him, along with other slow-bowling options Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar and Steve O'Keefe.
"I still haven't met Warnie but I am really hoping to so it might be something I need to tee up before I go,” Swepson said.
"I appreciated his support.”
Swepson said he was stunned when selection chairman Trevor Hohns, who he has known for many years through their mutual association with the Sandgate-Redcliffe club, rang him on Saturday.
"He said 'I have got some good news, you are going to India',” Swepson said.
"I was a bit rattled. I did not know what to say. There was a profanity in there at some point. I was just shocked to be honest.
"I could not believe it. It was nice to get the call from him.”
Like Swepson, Hohns was a leg-spinner. His love of wrist spin has remained as strong as ever despite Australia's stocks dwindling since Warne returned.
Swepson lives at home with his parents Des and Kylie, who went to school together at Frawley College in Scarborough, and it was a highly emotional family moment when the news came though.
"They were extremely excited - it brought a tear to the old man's eye, which I had not seen before, and mum was a bit of a mess. It is great to bring those sorts of emotions out,” Swepson said.
Swepson has impressed Warne and many other judges with his temperament, variety and ability to spin the ball a significant amount in the Big Bash.
Australia has twice sent him to India to look, listen and learn and so he will be there for the real thing on Australia's four-Test tour, which starts next month.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.