Growing up, Peter Hatzoglou had not anticipated he would have been celebrating a massive win on the Marvel Stadium pitch with his Perth Scorchers teammates.
“I didn’t expect to be playing professionally at all when I was in high school, I wasn’t really anywhere near the mark at that stage. I went to uni, I did a degree in finance and international relations. I was working for a company called Zenith Investment Partners and I currently worked for KPMG Now, so I’ve always had ambitions outside of the game that I’m trying to nurture. It gets more and more difficult as cricket takes over, especially over the summer,” he told Neos Kosmos.
Although he hadn’t played professionally in his junior years, the now 23-year-old who grew up in Melbourne’s west made his Twenty20 debut in 2020 with the Melbourne Renegades, before signing a two-year contract with the Perth Scorchers in mid-2021.
Hatzoglou currently resides in Adelaide, moving there after been called upon to join the South Australian squad for the 2020–21 Marsh One-Day Cup, and now splits his time between the three cities to play his favoured game.
He talks dreams of making it to the Indian Premier League, using the element of surprise and staying connected to his roots.
What drew you to cricket?
I’m from Sunshine in Melbourne. That’s where my grandparents, my dad’s parents, settled when they first came to Australia. Being Greek, cricket was obviously a very foreign sport to them, but my dad who attended all the local schools was embraced by the Anglo guys at the cricket club when he was a kid, as were a lot of other Greeks and Italians and Maltese in the local area. He started playing when he was a kid so my dad grew up with cricket and I guess when he had me and my brother, it was the same for us as well.
We played juniors at Sunshine Heights, in the underage programs and went on from there, so it’s always been a big part of my life. Sport more broadly was always a big part of my life.
It’s game day, what do you do to get in the zone before the match?
It depends, when I’m playing Big Bash, our games are usually at night and quite late, so I like to get to sleep in the afternoon. I like to generally watch some of the video footage of the opposition if I’m not overly familiar with them the night before.
Other than that, I’m pretty easy. I’ll make sure I’m hydrated throughout the day and eating as well, but a lot of our matches are typically at night, so it’s just a matter of waiting throughout the day for the game to actually commence.
What do you find most challenging about the game?
There a lot of challenging things about professional sport but cricket specific challenges are just trying to continually evolve. I’m in my first couple years now, I’m still a relatively new bowler. A lot of a lot of the guys I play against, haven’t played against me all that much, so there’s still that element of surprise and that element of being unknown as well. So one of the biggest challenges is just trying to continually evolve and add new strings to my bow.
What has been a highlight in your sporting career thus far?
About what about two weeks ago now I won the Big Bash so that’s probably the number one highlight. That’s definitely been the biggest highlight, but I’ve won a few premierships with Melbourne University as well. I moved to South Australia during the pandemic and I played for the South Australia as well for a few games last season.
How has cricket impacted your life?
I’ve played overseas with cricket, I lived in the UK in 2019 and cricket was the vehicle that got me there. I’ve played cricket in Greece, in Corfu. That’s a nice little connection. I’ve gone on trips to Sri Lanka twice to play cricket and then I’ve travelled around Australia playing cricket as well. It’s one of the one of the best things about it, all the travel and all the new experiences.
I guess you know one of the other good things about cricket, but any sport really is just playing a team and no matter where you sort of come from, you’ve got that in common with other people. They’re some of the things I appreciate about it.
What is something you learned about yourself through playing the game?
It’s hard to just say one thing, but I think one of the things I’ve learned when trying to balance cricket with work and study and all these different things, is you can always do more. No matter how much you load yourself up with different things, we always find a way to just get it done.
What do you hope to achieve in the next year ?
Cricket is obviously something I’m pursuing pretty hard at the minute. I’m young and think why wouldn’t I? Playing internationally is something that’s always been a dream for me. I’d like to play in some of those competitions overseas in the UK, in the Caribbean, in Pakistan and ultimately India as well.
The Indian Premier League, is sort of like the number one on the Twenty20 cricket circuit. Down the track if I put together enough good performances, hopefully I can play for Australia one day.
What’s something someone might be surprised to learn about you?
I went to boarding school, I guess that’s something that’s a bit different. I bought a bike the other day and I like cycling, how’s that? I’ve also got a photo of Liam Gallagher in my bedroom at the minute, I love Oasis.
Favourite way to unwind after a game?
That’s actually one of the most difficult things after a game. You know you’re in the lights for so long and when you when you get out of them and get back into your hotel room after a game, it can be really difficult to unwind. I studied international relations and all that sort of stuff has been of interest to me so one of the things I do like to do when I wind down is just get onto YouTube and watch different sort of videos on Vox and some of those other YouTube channels.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
The Big Bash rolls around again in December at the end of this year, so that’s something that that I’m always looking forward to. Outside of that I’m looking at opportunities to play overseas, possibly in the UK and in the Caribbean. If the opportunity comes along that’s something I would like to pursue.
What is something you want to be remembered by?
It’s always difficult to step back and look at the big picture like that, but I guess I want to be someone who is remembered as driven and gives back to his community and all that sort of stuff. I was the treasurer at Sunshine Heights Cricket Club up until recently. I’m still on the committee at the Cricket Club. I just hope to be remembered as a nice guy.