Despite still being just 26, Ellis can be described as somewhat of a journeyman. After taking the plunge and moving to Tasmanian in 2017 – without a contract to his name but a home at Cricket Tasmania Premier League club, Lindisfarne – Ellis’ risk, combined with sheer hard work, paid off, when he made his Hurricanes debut against the Lahore Qalandars at the Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy in the UAE; a warm-up tournament the Hurricanes contested in the lead-up to KFC BBL|08.
From there, the milestones continued to tumble. Season 2019-20 saw Ellis secure his first full contracts with both the Hurricanes and the Tasmanian Tigers, making his Big Bash, First Class and List A debuts all in the same season.
Then, after completing the KFC BBL|10 season as a mainstay in the Hurricanes bowling attack – where he played in all 14 Hurricanes matches, taking 20 wickets as well as registering 110 dot balls for the tournament - higher honours were came for Ellis.
After being named as a travelling reserve for the Australian Men’s white ball tour to the West Indies and Bangladesh in July and August, despite not expecting to play a match on the tour and simply being rapt to embrace the experience, Ellis received Australian’s Men’s T20I cap #98 and made his international debut in Dhaka against Bangladesh on August 6. Not only did he take a wicket in his first match, but Ellis made history by becoming the first male cricketer to take a hat trick on his T20 International debut.
Following his truly unique first match in Australian colours, Ellis was rewarded with a contract with the Punjab Kings for the re-start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) – arguably the world’s most lucrative T20 franchise league – in the UAE in September. He will then remain in the UAE and meet up with the Australian Men’s T20 World Cup team, after being named as a travelling reserve for the 2021 edition of the tournament.
“It’s certainly been a whirlwind couple of months,” Ellis laughed. “It’s been a whirlwind few years really.”
“But I’m really excited to announce the extension of my contract with the Hurricanes before heading back overseas again.
“Looking back at the past few years and how I’ve progressed, there's certainly been a lot of hard work involved along the way, but I’m also very thankful to Griff [Hurricanes head coach, Adam Griffith] and the Hurricanes for giving me that first chance back in 2018. I don’t really think I’d be in the position I am today if it wasn’t for that.”
Ellis departs for the UAE tomorrow.
*****Ellis is one of 15 players who have thus far been announced in the Hurricanes’ squad for KFC BBL|11.
Squad: Scott Boland, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Peter Handscomb, Caleb Jewell, Josh Kann, Sandeep Lamichhane (o/s), Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Joel Paris, Wil Parker, D’Arcy Short, Matthew Wade, Mac Wright.