New Delhi: He is one among the few top overseas players to have regularly featured in the cash-rich Indian Premier League and Michael Hussey believes that his bond with it has got stronger over the years having played the role of a "mentor" to young Indian players.
Hussey, who has played six seasons for Chennai Super Kings and one for Mumbai Indians, will again go under the hammer during this year's auction and is very hopeful of playing in his eighth season in the league.
"I would love to be there as a player first and foremost. Most years that I have played IPL, I have seen myself as a bit of a mentor/coach to the younger players, particularly the young Indian players, with whom I have built up a fantastic rapport," Hussey told PTI.
Known as 'Mr Cricket' for his consistency during the phase in which he played 79 Tests, 185 ODIs and 38 T20 Internationals for Australia between 2004 and 2013, Hussey is confident of bringing something to the table if he is picked by any of the franchises.
"I am really hopeful. I feel I can still mix it with the best players and contribute to the team. I love the contest between bat and ball. I love playing in the IPL."
For Hussey, it's the assortment of players from across the countries and exchange of cricketing ideas that have made IPL such an appealing product.
"I love watching the best players from around the world, how they prepare, talk about the game and how they see the game. I also love the atmosphere, the crowds are electric," said Hussey, who is only 22 runs short of 4000 T20 career runs.
In the ongoing Big Bash League, he has been successful in two out of six innings (96 off 60 balls versus Brisbane Heats and 36 no off 21 balls vs Perth Scorchers).
Asked about his state of mind, Hussey said that he feels perfectly match-fit both physically and mentally.
"I have put in a lot of work over the years and also had an excellent preparation leading into the Big Bash. I came into the tournament fresh and excited and physically and mentally ready to perform," said Hussey.
He is a few months short of his 40th birthday but he feels that the competitive streak in him is not yet satiated and he is not ready to call time on his T20 career.
"I don't know! While I love the contest and I am fit enough and still contributing to the team I would like to continue playing," concluded Hussey.