Brisbane Heat import “Tall Paul” Walter is embracing his new status as a BBL cult hero.
Already a favourite on the domestic scene in his home country, the imposing English allrounder has made his mark with six wickets in his opening three games for the unbeaten Heat.
Walter snared 3-27 against the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday night, claiming the important scalps of Jake Fraser-McGurk, Aaron Finch and Will Sutherland.
And he added an unbeaten 30 from 15 deliveries with the bat to help Matt Renshaw steer Brisbane to a comfortable six-wicket win.
Walter, who was named player of the match, crushed three sixes in his innings, including a flat pull-shot that almost took out a quick-footed photographer sitting on the boundary line.
His feats have led to commentators and even rival players to fondly refer to the 202cm left-hander as “Tall Paul” in match broadcasts.
“It’s going to happen, isn’t it? There’s no shying away from it, but no, it’s all good,” 29-year-old Walter laughed.
“The BBL is a tournament I’ve always wanted to play growing up and I’ve loved every minute of it.
“The Brisbane guys have been really good and I’ve settled in really quickly, so it’s nice for that to be able to transfer onto the pitch.”
Walter is Brisbane’s equal-leading wicket-taker so far this season, level with Xavier Bartlett and Mitchell Swepson, but boasts a better average (9.33) and economy rate (6.22) than his teammates.
“All you want to do is help win games for the team so it’s a great feeling when you do that,” Walter said.
Brisbane are top of the table with three wins and one no-result from four matches ahead of home games against the Sydney Thunder (Wednesday) and Sydney Sixers (January 1).
“Especially now it’s been condensed into 10 games, I think getting off to a good start just gives you a little bit of breathing room,” Walter said.
“Now we return to the Gabba and we’ve got two games now at home, which we’d like to think is a bit of a fortress up there.
“It’s onto the next game and try not to look too far ahead.”