Debutant Floros hopes to bloom this summer
Chris Simpson has been the most helpful Queensland player for Jason Floros since he moved from Canberra last year, but this season the 19-year-old is chasing his senior team-mate's spot. Simpson's demotion from captain has made him more of a target and opened up the field for a slow-bowling allrounder.
"I've done a lot of one-on-one stuff with him, it's good to see another batting allrounder in the squad that I can relate to," Floros said. Now the mentor and the quietly spoken teenager will be battling for game time. "I guess that's why I go to him as well, I know what I have to do to beat him for a spot."
Floros, who will play his first senior match for Queensland next Wednesday, is polite enough to admit it sounds bad, but it is the reality of professional sport. Cameron Boyce, the legspinner, will start the summer as the Bulls first-choice slow man in the Sheffield Shield, but Floros can take advantage of the changed landscape.
Primarily a left-handed run-maker, Floros has been developing his offspin and is not totally sure his bowling would be an immediate success at first-class level. "I'm trying to push more as a batsman at the moment and develop my bowling as I go," he said. "The way the game is going you are going to need two skills to push into any sort of team."
Eighteen months ago Floros was on a two-week visit to the Centre of Excellence from Canberra when he was called into the office of Trevor Barsby, the Queensland coach, and offered a rookie contract. "It's an opportunity not many people from Canberra get," he said. "Since then it's been rush, rush, rush."
He was called into the squad for the Shield final in March and his 12th man duties included a couple of days in the field after James Hopes picked up a calf injury in the 457-run defeat. "It was a really good experience to get to run around the MCG in a Shield final, with a couple of thousand people cheering and heckling," he said.
This summer he hopes to debut in all three forms for the Bulls. He is on a full contract and has been boosted by his part in Australia's Under-19 World Cup win. Floros, who returned mid-season from a broken jaw suffered in a club game, delivered valuable contributions of 35 and 1 for 19 in the final victory. "It's definitely my biggest achievement in cricket," he said. "It was unbelievable, nothing compares to it."
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo