Matthew Kuhnemann at the Bond University Blues Awards.
Matthew Kuhnemann has marked a whirlwind debut for Australia with two wickets in the second ODI against Sri Lanka in front of more than 30,000 screaming fans.
The 25-year-old has engraved his name on the Bond honour board as the university’s first Australian cricket representative.
The ADCO Sports Excellence Scholarship holder was a last-minute inclusion in the squad after Ashton Agar was ruled out with injury.
After stepping up to take 2-48 off his 10 overs, the spin bowler said his nerves would have been far worse if he had been given more notice.
“It’s been crazy. If you told me that I was going to play for my country 24 hours ago I would have laughed at you,” Kuhnemann said.
“I was on my way to get on the team bus with the Aussie A-Squad and I got a tap on the shoulder from a selector on tour. He told myself and Heady (Travis Head) to go pack our bags as we need to get to Kandy as soon as possible.
“I’m pretty overwhelmed at the moment.”
Team-mate Marnus Labuschagne presented Kuhnemann with Australia ODI cap number 237 before the match.
Labuschagne gave an emotional speech to his fellow Queenslander.
“Probably my favourite attribute of yours (Kuhnemann) is your competitiveness,” Labuschagne said.
“It doesn’t matter who is at the other end, it doesn’t matter who you’re coming up against, you’re willing to compete even if you’re under the pump, you always trust your skills.”
Unfortunately, a late collapse saw Australia slump to a 26-run loss. The five-match series is levelled at one-all.
The Southport School product, who is studying a Bachelor of Property, said he was inspired to perform knowing his family back home were watching.
Kuhnemann, the leading spinner during last season’s Sheffield Shield campaign, is now a step closer to a coveted baggy green.