Adam Voges’ World Cup dream was crushed a year ago, but Darren Lehmann gave him hope of a Test debut at the same time.
Voges was naturally dubious.
The right-hander had run drinks for the Test side once in 2006, but scored 870 runs at an average of 45.78 for Australia in the 50-over format.
Voges had been working on the assumption that his international career would be in coloured clothes.
“It was probably a year before the World Cup that I had a pretty honest conversation with Boof,” he said.
“It was pretty obvious that (World Cup berth) wasn’t going to happen, that the team was looking in a different direction.
“I think during that conversation I said ‘well I’m done then am I?’. His answer was `no … there’s always opportunities’.”
Voges admitted he was “skeptical”, but proceeded to dominate the Sheffield Shield.
A first-class season of 769 runs was followed by a record-breaking 1358 runs at 104.46 in 2014-15.
It was the fourth-best Shield season with the bat in the competition’s history and selectors had little choice but to recall Voges to the Test squad.
A century on Test debut followed and come Wednesday the Western Australian will be belting out the national anthem in the Ashes opener.
All of which seemed impossible when Lehmann left him bitterly disappointed.
“I didn’t think I’d ever let anyone down when I’d played one-day cricket,” the 35-year-old said.
“My performances statistically were good and I played in a lot of teams that won games.
“As hard as it is to hear at times, at least it was honest and truthful.
“It took a little while I must admit, but I moved on.”
The prospect of playing his first Ashes Test this week in Cardiff is obviously exciting, but Voges will stick to the same formula that delivered a mountain of runs for WA.
“I’ve learnt a bit of patience over the last few years,” he said.
“It’s going to be a big occasion, I’m sure there will be some nerves. You’d be disappointed if there weren’t.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket … hopefully that experience will hold me in good stead.”
Voges could be joined in the XI by WA teammate Mitch Marsh, who is locked in a selection battle with fellow allrounder Shane Watson.
Voges was full of praise for Marsh, who has made a compelling case for a recall with back-to-back tons on tour.
“It’s been great to watch. He’s doubled his first-class hundreds tally in the last two weeks,” he said.
“He was always talented, but I think he’s starting to work things out now.
“He’s done everything he possibly can to be selected … he’s scoring runs and bowling well so if he gets picked he’ll be ready to go.”