Aaron Hardie, Perth Scorchers, Mitch Marsh, Indian Premier League, Cam Green, injury, all-rounder, Australia, rep honours, selection

The Scorchers may have kept all-rounder Aaron Hardie “tucked away” from rival clubs, but he’s no longer WA’s best-kept secret with another standout performance in the Big Bash League.

Only weeks after ex-Aussie star Cam White declared Hardie a “fantastic young player” who he’d love to lure east, the 24-year-old showed just how versatile he is on Saturday by jumping up to bat at three and help the Scorchers back to the top of the table.

Fox Cricket’s Brad Haddin believes it’s only a matter of time before Hardie joins the likes of Mitch Marsh and $3.15 million man Cam Green in the Indian Premier League given his strength and versatility.

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Hardie hit his second half-century of the tournament, as his century stand with Cam Bancroft guided Perth to victory over the Heat.

“He hasn’t mistimed a ball,” Fox Cricket’s Brad Haddin praised.

“You like seeing guys promoted up the order make the most of their opportunity. Make it hard for the coach and selectors to move them back down.

“That’s what he’s doing at the moment.

Aaron Hardie celebrates his half century during the Men's Big Bash League.  Image: Paul Kane
Aaron Hardie celebrates his half century during the Men’s Big Bash League. Image: Paul KaneSource: Getty Images

“The Perth Scorchers are blessed with all-rounders. (Marcus) Stoinis is from there, (Cam) Green, (Mitch) Marsh. Maybe we’re witnessing another one, Aaron Hardie.

“The others are all sought after in the IPL. Maybe this man Aaron Hardie is starting to build a campaign towards that as well.”

Sydney Sixers assistant Cam White said Hardie was certainly a player he’d love to have at his club.

“I think Aaron Hardie’s a fantastic young player and he showed he’s playing some very good cricket,” he said.

“I’ve personally had my eye on him for a long time, but he’s kept secret in Australian cricket.

“Tucked away in the Shield team there and down the lower order in the Scorchers line up – a very handy player to have.”

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The all-rounder’s innings of 57 off just 33 balls against the Heat was near-faultless, until he was caught just a millimeter shy of his crease.

Scorchers assistant coach Beau Casson laughed as he described the 193cm Hardie as like a “ferret” between wickets.

“At the start of the year we saw him batting at number six, he’s shown his power in that space. Now we are starting to see some of his class from him with the bat (at three), ”he told Fox Cricket.

“It’s the start of good things to come for him.”

Teammate Cam Bancroft said he felt he had the “best seat in the house” on Saturday night watching Hardie bat.

“I thought he played unbelievably well,” he said.

“His power is up there with your Mitch Marsh’s, Cam Green hits a really big ball as well. He’s just growing with every game he plays for us.

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“He had a good crack at three today. His intent was fantastic and he played really well.

“Mitch comes out and just backs himself to clear pickets from ball one and Hards, it felt like he had that same intent today.

“Hopefully that’s a spot where he can be really fruitful for us coming into the back end of the season.

“He’s come through the ranks, was identified quite early as a really talented junior. To watch his laugh… his batting has just become more and more powerful.”

Fellow Scorcher Jhye Richardson said he expected to see Hardie in higher representative honors soon.

“He’s such a great player, he’s developed his game over the last 18 months,” he said.

“I think if (his form) is anything to go by, he’s got such a long career ahead of him, here and higher honours.”

Hardie said he was looking to emulate his Perth teammate and injured Australian star Mitch Marsh with his batting.

Bancroft snags peach of a catch | 00:54

“I absolutely love batting at three. I’ve done it my whole life in club cricket. You get more balls to bat at three. Glad I took the opportunity tonight,” he said.

“I reckon I’ll probably slide in at three for the rest of the season and I’m stoked with that.

“Mitch (Marsh) being out probably helps that cause this season.

“He’s awesome help … if I can keep looking to bat like him, I think that’s going to go a long way.

“I think he’s probably got a few bigger bombs than I have hit, but he’s played a few more games so I’ll try to catch him.”

Hardie said while he hadn’t heard from Australian selectors directly, his focus remained on improving game by game.

“Cricket is very much a numbers game – I’ve got to score lots of runs and take lots of wickets. We’ll see what happens,” he said.

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