DOUBTERS have plagued the career of Nowra’s Nic Maddinson for as long as he can remember but a fresh start is all he needs to prove them wrong.
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A day after the 26-year-old's contract upgrade with Victoria was announced, Maddinson has been selected in the Prime Minister's XI to take on South Africa at Manuka Oval on October 31.
It is an indication that Maddinson is still viewed as a representative prospect by Cricket Australia selectors despite being cut loose by NSW months after claiming the Blues' one-day player of the year award.
After the way things finished in NSW, there was "no chance" Maddinson would stick around and try to force his way back in through the Sydney premier competition.
Maddinson made the call to Victoria when he found out he had been left without a contract and the door was slightly ajar for him to feature in the pre-season despite the state's finalised list.
That chance was all he needed, eventually forcing his way into Victoria's one-day side and ultimately scoring a full contract and another one-day cup title just a handful of games later.
"Just after how things finished at NSW I thought it was good to start fresh and come down here," Maddinson said.
"I will miss playing for Eastern Suburbs, but apart from that I was pretty keen to get out of there and start playing in a new environment.
"Obviously signing with the Melbourne Stars for three years as well, I had a little bit of security down in Melbourne, so I thought it was a good opportunity to come.
"Even without that state contract or without the lure of possibly playing games, I think I would have moved here because it’s the best thing long-term for my cricket, to be involved in Victoria."
Maddinson concedes he was selected for Australia on potential rather than performance. He understands that, and the only way to get back there is via performance - not potential.
The three-Test batsman has his eyes locked on a Sheffield Shield debut for Victoria this season but he knows it won't be handed to him on a silver platter.
Instead he is going back to club cricket with St Kilda and turning his attention to churning out as many runs as he can until the selectors have no choice but to pick him.
"Coming down and being involved in a new environment, being challenged with new faces and a new coaching staff, and a new approach to the game has been pretty refreshing," Maddinson said.
"I was just really keen to play cricket. Victoria have given me an opportunity and I’m very grateful for that. It’s obviously a different role and a different set-up to what I’ve experienced before.
"Just being able to play in a professional environment again was something I was really keen to do. Hopefully I can get back into a Shield team and then when next year comes around, hopefully be in the set-up full-time."
His introduction to international cricket and the recent off-season clearly haven't panned out like they were supposed to in the boyhood dream.
Now Maddinson is desperate to set the record straight and force his way back into the frame in his second consecutive Prime Minister's XI appearance.
"Any time you get the opportunity to play for an Australian representative team and also against some quality opposition in South Africa is a platform to score runs and put your case forward," Maddinson said.
"Any game of cricket you want to do well in, but being a game that does only happen once a year, it carries that extra bit of pride when you’re playing."
PRIME MINISTER'S XI
Wednesday, October 31: Prime Minister's XI v South Africa at Manuka Oval, 1.50pm. Tickets from Ticketek.
Prime Minister's XI squad: George Bailey (c) (Tasmania), Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia), Max Bryant (Queensland), Ben Dwarshuis (New South Wales), Jack Edwards (New South Wales), Nic Maddinson (Victoria), Kurtis Patterson (New South Wales), Josh Philippe (Western Australia), Usman Qadir (Western Australia), Gurinder Sandhu (Tasmania), Jason Sangha (New South Wales). 12th man: Tom Engelbrecht (ACT/NSW Country).
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn.
Related content: Maddinson and Engelbrecht named in Prime Minister’s XI squad
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