Brendan Nash returns to roots under spotlight
Brendan Nash, the former Queensland batsman, will be in demand for the rest of the month as family and friends chase him for tales of his new life as a West Indian cricketer. But Nash will also be harassed by his captain Chris Gayle.
Nash, who has averaged 38.23 in nine Tests, grew up in Queensland, spent seven seasons with the Bulls and at one stage shared a house with Mitchell Johnson, his soon-to-be opponent. Given the state of the West Indies squad following their strike, he could still know more about his hosts than his team-mates.
"I think he's going to give me some advice," Gayle said. "To be his hometown and the team he used to represent, he'll be looking forward to doing well."
Nash was met at Brisbane airport by his mother Andrea, who moved with her husband Paul to Australia in 1977, the year their son was born in Perth. His parents have watched him play in New Zealand and the Caribbean, but will not have far to travel for the first Test at the Gabba on November 26.
"It will be a little bit strange [being back in Brisbane] but I guess I've played there quite a bit," he said. "I know the conditions and can pass that information on to my team-mates and put us in good stead with a win in the tour match and get us moving forward towards the first Test."
He also expects Johnson to target him in a repeat of their net sessions over the years with Queensland and the Norths club. "I'd like to think he is going to try to get me out more than anything," he said. "I'm sure there is going to be a fair bit of that sort of stuff. It's going to be a huge challenge for not only myself, if I'm playing, but the whole team."
Gayle was an important figure in Nash's successful move to Jamaica in 2007 and is confident he will do well. "The challenge will be on him and I'm sure he will be able to handle himself," Gayle said. "He's done pretty decent so far in Test cricket and we're happy to have him. Hopefully he can pick off from where he left off against England and gets some runs against the Aussies."
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo