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Pomersbach repays faith of Brisbane Heat
Greg Buckle
18:07 AEST Wed Jan 16 2013

Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann didn't need to tell Luke Pomersbach to rethink his next drink or any chance of a return to international cricket was over.

Pomersbach capped a remarkable comeback season by belting an unbeaten 112 off 70 balls on Tuesday night in the Heat's semi-final win over Melbourne Renegades.

The talented opener is the leading runscorer in the BBL this season with 360 runs at an average of 45 after Lehmann offered him a lifeline in the sunshine state following a career with Western Australia riddled with headlines about abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Lehmann's side will play the winner of Wednesday night's second semi-final between Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars on Saturday. And just by reaching the final, the Heat have qualified for the lucrative Champions League in India in October.

Pomersbach, who played one T20 International in 2007, is determined to return to national colours.

The 28-year-old has previously spoken about how he feels he's lucky to be alive after the way his life had tumbled out of control.

"They've shown a lot of faith in me to get me over. Darren Lehmann's been excellent," Pomersbach told Fox Sports after Tuesday's semi-final.

"They've taken a bit of a risk but I know where I'm at in my career now and my life and everything's going well."

The former bad boy says these days he likes to have a few beers now and then but he no longer attempts to destroy himself.

"He has said that to us (about not wasting his chance to become a regular international player)," Lehmann told AAP.

"That's what we love about him. He hasn't put a foot wrong and he won't.

"He has turned the corner so we're really proud of him for doing that. We know he's got a lot of work to go as well and we just support him in becoming a better person and a better cricketer.

"He's a good fellow. We love him.

"We know he's had some issues in the past. We're not worried about that.

"We look forward and he's been really good. The guys look after him.

"He's really enjoyed his role with us and enjoyed his time."

Lehmann, a knockabout personality whose personal style has gelled beautifully with the troubled Pomersbach, refuses to take all the credit.

"It wasn't just me. It was Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors, and Queensland cricket as a whole," Lehmann says.

"He has embraced that and been fantastic so we're really happy with him.

"We just want you to improve as a person. If he keeps doing that, he'll play good cricket. We know that.

"When you get to finals, you just need someone to grab the game.

"It was just one bloke playing the real ballsy game if you like to win the match."

Meanwhile, Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade believed Pomersbach was on track to force his way into the national Twenty20 side - just as he did almost 12 months ago.

"I think the selectors have shown if you are in form, they will pick you," he said in Brisbane on Wednesday ahead of Friday's Gabba one-dayer against Sri Lanka.

"I went to the academy with Luke four or five years ago now, so for him to come back into the first-class set-up and do what he is doing is great for him.

"I am sure if he keeps putting performances like that together, he will get the rewards."


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