For Peter Hatzoglou, the 22-year-old who dismissed Cam Bancroft and Mitch Marsh in his BBL debut just two months ago, the answer to that question is not a simple one.
Beginning his cricket with Sunshine Heights in Melbourne, a club Hatzoglou’s father had strong ties to, the leg-spinner moved to Melbourne University as his ambition grew alongside his age. Following strong performances, the endlessly energetic Hatzoglou was invited to train with Melbourne Stars during their 2019/20 BBL campaign.
When Covid-19 then changed the sporting landscape, Hatzoglou made the huge decision to relocate to South Australia, where he took up a place with Premier Cricket club Prospect. During his first season he was spotted by SACA Talent Manager Sean Williams, leading to his name being added to the Redbacks Emerging Talent list.
Hatzoglou’s broad smile frames everything he says, and it is contagious to those listening as he discusses the last 12 months of his journey.
“In the depths of Melbourne’s lockdown, I decided to leave Victoria and come to South Australia in the hope of playing just any cricket really. As it turned out, I found myself in the emerging squad with the Redbacks and then I got the call up to go back to Melbourne and play with the Renegades. It happened really quickly.
I wasn’t expecting anything coming over here. It works out in funny way, I guess. For me to get into the Renegades squad, two leg-spinners got injured. How often does that happen? Never.”
The call to join the Melbourne Renegades came on 27 November, a date notable not just for its proximity to the commencement of the BBL, but also because it is Hatzoglou’s birthday. A late signing to cover the unavailability of Noor Ahmed and Cameron Boyce, Hatzoglou quickly became a fan-favourite due to his at times uncontrollable passion, excitement and love for the game of cricket.
Appearing in 12 games for the Renegades, including one at Adelaide Oval against the Strikers, Hatzoglou took 17 wickets, with best figures of 3/43. In addition to his prized debut wickets, Hatzoglou also sent the likes of Ben McDermott, Marcus Stoinis and his new Redbacks teammate, Jake Weatherald, back to the pavilion.
Fresh chapters in the story of Peter Hatzoglou will be penned this week, with the spinner named in his maiden First Class unit, the West End Redbacks Marsh One Day Cup squad ahead of their clash against Western Australia on 2 March.
“I found out [I was in the squad] in the middle of my first actual training session with the Redbacks. It’s a childhood dream. It’s amazing. I’m really keen on just going in there with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude and I’ll just try my best… and try and get a win for the team.”
One thing is for sure, Hatzoglou will be sporting a huge grin and an infectious attitude when he does line-up in a Redbacks top, be it this week or another. Local fans will also be pleased to hear the words formed by that smile when asked if he has thought about a return to Victorian state cricket down the road.
“Nah, I reckon I’m South Australian now. I love it here.”