Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dukoski steps out of comfort zone for Comets

ACT Comets debutant Vele Dukoski is a study in persistence.

After spending the past three years in the training squad, the 23-year-old all-rounder will finally make his Futures League debut in Monday's season opener against Tasmania in Hobart.

Dukoski's impressive performances with both bat and ball for Queanbeyan have helped him force his way into the side for the four-day encounter.

Dukoski got a taste of playing for the Comets in a couple of Twenty20 matches against Big Bash League side the Melbourne Renegades last summer.


His lusty hitting makes him a valuable commodity in the short form, showcased with a stunning 68 from just 34 balls in a Konica Minolta Cup Twenty20 game earlier this season.

But he knows he'll have to show patience and rein in his aggressive streak in the longer format.

He's already sought out Queanbeyan and Comets star Jono Dean for advice on making the step up from the club ranks.

''It's a hard transition for me because I don't like leaving much,'' Dukoski said.

''Jono's told me to do what I do for Queanbeyan - bowl line and length and play nice and straight with the bat and just back myself.

''There's definitely nerves going to be there, but I just have to get over them and play good cricket.''

Dukoski has spent the past eight years with Queanbeyan and played for the ACT under-19s in 2009.

He bats at No.4 for Queanbeyan and operates as a right-medium fast bowler at first change in the bowling attack.

Dukoski has been in the Comets' train-on squad for the past three years, but was still shocked when told of his inclusion last week.

''I thought I was no chance to play this week, but then I got the call on Monday,'' he said.

''I've been working nice and hard on pre-season for the past three months. I want to do well and not let my teammates down.''

Dukoski will be the second debutant in the Comets team alongside teenage batsman Matthew Condon.

The 17-year-old was the lead run-scorer in the ACT first-grade competition last season and was crucial in helping Wests/UC win the title. The Comets have four games in the Futures League season.

After this week's match at Lindisfarne Oval, they take on South Australia in Adelaide from November 18-21 before having their final two fixtures in Canberra - against Victoria (February 10-13) and Western Australia (February 24-27).


Futures League round one: Tasmania second XI v ACT Comets at Lindisfarne Oval, Hobart. Play starts at 10.30am.
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