Sam Wisniewski believes the pressure will be off him during his forthcoming spell of T10 cricket in Abu Dhabi.
Yorkshire’s fledgling wrist spinner has been signed up to play for the Pune Devils in the all-action competition, which starts at the end of this month.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore will be joining the same team, while Adam Lyth is also playing for the Delhi Bulls – both having played in the event previously.
Eight teams will compete between January 28 and February 6, with 19-year-old left-armer Wisniewski likely to come up against the likes of Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran to name just a few stars.
Wisniewski’s deal comes on the back of two appearances for the White Rose first team in the Vitality Blast at the end of last summer.
Contracted as an Academy player at Emerald Headingley, he said: “If you’d have said this time last year that in the next 12 months you will play for Yorkshire’s first team and get picked up to play in the T10 League, I wouldn’t have believed you.
“I first heard about the possibility through my agent towards the end of October.
“I’ve watched a bit of T10 through highlights and stuff like that, and it looks pretty exciting. I can’t wait to get going.
“There won’t be a lot of expectation on me as a 19-year-old kid coming up against plenty of really good players. But that’s a win-win for me.
“I go out on January 21 and have to isolate for three days. Then there will be a couple of training sessions before the first game.
“It’s obviously helpful to have Tom there. He played in it last year, so that will be good to pick his brains. And also going into a new environment, it’s always useful to have someone there who you know. It will help me feel more comfortable.”
For a player with little first-team exposure, Huddersfield-born Wisniewski will have a couple of notable experiences to reflect upon by the time the 2021 English summer begins in early April.
His trip to the UAE will be one, while another will be net bowling at England’s Test squad in the summer of 2018 when they were preparing to face Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
Wisniewski believes that, in particular, helped him settle into his Yorkshire debut in September’s Roses Blast clash with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford when he bowled two overs for 15.
“I’ve thought about that quite a lot, actually,” he admitted.
“And because of that, I thought I would do alright moving up to the first team.
“Bowling at Rooty and people like that stood me in good stead for starting against (Liam) Livingstone when he was coming quite hard.
“It was a great experience. After my first ball came out well, I was fine nerves wise. And I thought I did alright.”
Assessing his development as a spinner, Wisniewski, who has been training with England’s Under 19s this winter, said: “I’d say my skills are more suited to white ball than red ball at the moment, just because I’ve played a lot more T20 and one-day cricket growing up.
“The longer format is something I’m trying to do a lot more of and get better at because I desperately want to play in that.
“Playing in this competition could open up some other doors, but at the moment I’m just happy to have the chance to get some cricket in with last summer being as short as it was. We’re not a million miles away from our season starting, so getting some bowling in outside now is a huge bonus.”
The biggest door he will want to open, however, is the one allowing him to play more for Yorkshire’s first team in 2021 and beyond.
“Definitely,” he added. “Having played at the end of last year, this gives me another chance to show what I can do.
“It’s something I want to do, but I’ve got to take a few wickets in the second team first and work as hard as I can. I certainly don’t just expect to play because I got a few games last year.”