Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
This time a year ago, Cameron Boyce was running drinks for Hobart Hurricanes for their appearances in the semis and final of a tournament won by Adelaide Strikers, dropped after playing every qualifying match.
At the end of the season he was moved on from both the Hurricanes and the wider Tasmanian state system, despite returning more than serviceable numbers in the previous two editions of the domestic limited-overs competition. Moving back to his hometown of Brisbane, having already been discarded from Queensland to venture to Tasmania in the first place, he looked towards a career path of teaching, alongside club cricket and, ultimately, a new contract with Melbourne Renegades.
What has followed is a reminder of the quality that hurtled Boyce into the Australia T20 team, where his record - eight wickets at 19.90 from seven matches - has always left questions as to why he was not persisted with. Granted a consistent place in the Renegades side, and benefiting from the assistance provided by a slow and sometimes spinning Docklands Stadium surface, Boyce was a key plank of the club's first BBL triumph, scooping 16 wickets at 24.25 while giving up just 6.44 per over.
"I got dropped for the semi-final last year," Boyce told ESPNcricinfo after returning 2 for 30 in the Renegades' dramatic final win. "I felt like I did a good job and think I did a good job for the Hurricanes for the time I played with them, but I got left out of the semi which can happen, and then made the move to the Renegades.
"I just feel like I've really done my part this year and it's been amazing to cap it off with a win, but all the boys chipped in along the way. From a personal level I can't believe we've won, it's been an amazing year. I feel like I'm going really well so we'll wait and see what happens from here."
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If persistence is a lesson to be drawn from Boyce's nomadic career, then it was also a critical element of his performances in the semi and the final, both at Docklands. Twice he was hoisted for massive sixes, first by Josh Philippe and then Marcus Stoinis, while returning expensive figures in his opening two overs of the match. But each time he endured and adjusted, returning at pivotal times to claim the wickets that helped the Renegades forge their way to the title.
On Sunday afternoon, Boyce's role was elevated still further, by the fact that he became the first Renegades bowler to dismiss Stoinis all tournament, having watched him collect 187 runs without losing his wicket to that point. At the time that Boyce tossed one high and straight down the line of the stumps to dip beneath Stoinis' ambitious drive and clatter the stumps, the Renegades captain Aaron Finch estimated the hosts were about one over from being unable to win the game.
"That can happen. It's big games and you're going to have big moments in those games," Boyce said of needing to rebound from early punishment. "Stoin is a world class player, he's been playing unbelievably the whole tournament. I knew they were going to come after me and it makes it harder when we don't take wickets early doors, but you've just got to hold your nerve a little bit and come back.
"We always felt like we were in the game with him, he gave us a few chances early, or half chances, but it looked like he was just trying to dictate terms a little bit and pace his innings. We knew at some point there he had to go. And so he did and fortunately enough for me he missed it and the rest is history.
"Those two guys had given them a real good platform, [but] we know with runs on the board in finals anything can happen. If you take a few wickets back to back, which we did, I don't know if a little bit of panic set in or just playing some shots they were forced to play, but things fell our way amazingly and I think the last three overs felt like they went by in about 20 seconds. It was pretty awesome for us."
Among the gaggle of wrist spin bowlers in the Australian system, Boyce seems to be some way from the front of the queue. But by performing under pressure at the pointy end of this BBL, a year after he was jettisoned from the Hurricanes at the very moment the finals began, he has proven that those seven T20I appearances are not without hope of being added to.
"I actually feel like I'm bowling the exact same way I have for the last two or three seasons," he said. "My numbers in the one-day cup for Tassie the last couple years I played there were unbelievable, they want to go in a different direction, which is fine, but I still feel like I've got a lot to offer with the white ball and hopefully I showed that in this tournament, not just with the ball but with the bat as well."