BENDIGO United's Miggy Podosky is daring to dream of playing in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup later this year.
Podosky is part of the 14-man Philippines squad that next month will head to Oman for an ICC World Cup global qualifying tournament.
The Philippines are among 16 teams that are part of two qualifying pools aiming to win their way through to the group stage of the World Cup that already features Sri Lanka, West Indies, Namibia and Scotland.
Four teams from the global qualifying tournament will progress to the group stage, before four will then advance into the Super 12 phase later this year of the T20 World Cup in which reigning champions Australia, Pakistan, India, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are confirmed.
For 32-year-old Podosky, the opportunity to represent his native Philippines on the international stage is one that has been five years in the making that started in 2017 when Bendigo hosted the East-Asia Pacific Trophy as part of the qualifying for the 2019 ODI World Cup.
"Ian Sinclair was the head of the Philippines Cricket Association and sent an email to Cricket Victoria, Cricket New South Wales and so forth asking for players of Filipino heritage who could play at premier cricket level or equivalent," Podosky said on Friday.
"Fortunately for me that fell into Ben DeAraugo's e-mail (Bendigo-based Cricket Victoria employee) and he put my name forward and I met with the team when the EAP qualifiers were here in Bendigo.
"I got to train with the team in Bendigo and that's where it started and now I've got this opportunity to be able to represent the Philippines at international level."
Podosky's Filipino heritage is tied to his mum, Nonnie, who has retained her Filipino citizenship.
Although born in Melbourne, Podosky is recognised as a Filipino citizen by birth.
"I probably didn't think a lot about my Filipino heritage in my early years," Podosky said.
"But when I got older and started to discover more about my heritage I have become really proud of it.
"Once I realised that some of the traits of my family comes from somewhere I wanted to discover about that somewhere being the Philippines.
"And then having gone through this process, I've probably become more proud of my heritage as well.
"Getting to know all the boys in the squad has been awesome to find out what they grew up like and it has encouraged me to reach out to more of my family who are overseas and talk to them a bit more about our Filipino heritage."
Getting to know all the boys in the squad has been awesome to find out what they grew up like and it has encouraged me to reach out to more of my family who are overseas and talk to them a bit more about our Filipino heritage- Miggy Podosky
The Philippines are in group B of the global qualifying tournament along with Canada, Nepal and host nation Oman.
The top two in the group will advance to the semi-final of the tournament to be held from February 18-24.
"It's obviously a really exciting opportunity," said Podosky, who is a dual BDCA first XI premiership player for Bendigo United with more than 300 wickets.
"If we perform well in our group stage then we're potentially going to have to play a team like the Netherlands or Ireland, so it's going to be tough.
"We'll just put our best foot forward and see how we go. It's a unique opportunity that we have and, hopefully, we can go well."
Podosky is earmakred to bat at No.6 and bowl in the middle and death overs for the Philippines.
To assist the Philippines financially ahead of the qualifying tournament, a gofundme page has been set up, with funds to go towards practice match fees, training balls and equipment, playing and training kits, facility hire, playing equipment and external support such as physios, data analysis and doctors.
The ICC T20 World Cup will be held in Australia in October and November.
ICC GLOBAL QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT COUNTRIES - Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Singapore, Zimbabwe, UAE, Barhrain, Hong Kong, Philippines, Jersey, Germany, Canada, USA, Uganda.
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