Gracemere Bulls paceman Ben Milne.
Gracemere Bulls paceman Ben Milne. Guy Williams

Milne’s time to shine after inspiration of fourth test

NOT many sitting in the Melbourne Cricket Ground stands watched Australia's bowling performance in the Fourth Test as intently as Queensland Country paceman Ben Milne.

Milne was part of the record crowd set at the venue as the Aussie pacemen, led by Mitchell Johnson, tore through the English order and set up a 4-0 Ashes Series lead.

The 21-year-old planned to watch the opening three days of action, but purchased a ticket to day four to ensure he didn't miss Australia's match-winning run chase with the bat.

"It's definitely good to have seen how they bowled to the English batsman," Milne said.

"They did a good job working to a plan and it paid off for them. Being at the ground you get a chance to see a lot more than what you do watching at home on TV."

The four days at the cricket - and the chance to play for Central Queensland Seamers in the Queensland Bulls Masters Twenty20 final at the Gabba on Thursday - proved to be ideal preparation for Milne, who lines up for Queensland Country for the first time on Tuesday in their opening Australian Country Cricket Championships match against Western Australia Country at Canberra.

A former Queensland Country under-19 representative, Milne will take the new ball on Tuesday on day one of his side's 100-over match against the westerners.

After its first match, the Queensland Country team meets East Asia Pacific, Victory Country and South Australia Country before meeting reigning champions New South Wales Country in its final match of the tournament on January 14.

Milne believed Queensland Country's results would have a huge bearing on his chances of breaking into the Australian Country team.

"Initially my goal was to make North Queensland, then Queensland Country and now (Australian Country) is the next step," Milne said.

"Hopefully, as a team, we can win a few games and I can take a few wickets.

"If we're playing well all-round it'll help my chances."

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