Tearful farewell for unassuming Floros

Queensland allrounder exploring new horizons ... and a chance to play with his little brothers

Louis Cameron

10 August 2018, 06:44 PM AEST

Jason Floros eyed the contract offered to him, a few dozen pages every aspiring cricketer wants to get their hands on, and knew something wasn't right.

"I remember looking at my contract and staring at it for probably two or three days before I actually signed it," he tells cricket.com.au. "That was probably the first sign."

A little over 18 months after captaining Queensland, Floros was having serious doubts about whether this was still the life he really wanted.

On the surface, the act of signing it hardly seemed like a leap of faith.

Next summer would have been Floros' 10th as a professional cricketer since he made the move north to Brisbane from his home town of Canberra as a teenager.

Back then, the rangy ginger-haired allrounder, a fluid left-handed batsman and right-arm finger spinner, seemed destined for even greater honours after capping a glittering underage cricket resume by playing a key role in Australia's Under-19 World Cup campaign in 2010.

Floros celebrates a wicket at the 2010 U19 World Cup // Getty
Floros celebrates a wicket at the 2010 U19 World Cup // Getty

Floros was the side's second-leading run-scorer and second-most economical bowler for the tournament, but more importantly played a decisive role when his team needed him most in the final against Pakistan. Their victory remains Australia's most recent at the showcase youth event.

While he struggled to nail down a spot in Queensland's Sheffield Shield team in the years that followed, Floros found his niche as a regular in the one-day arena. He saved his best for another final; in what remains his proudest moment in maroon, he top-scored with a vital 32-ball 47 against Victoria in the rain-affected 2012-13 domestic one-day decider to rescue the Bulls. They won by two runs.

Floros hit 47 off 32 balls in the 2013 domestic one-day final // Getty
Floros hit 47 off 32 balls in the 2013 domestic one-day final // Getty

His appointment as stand-in 50-over skipper four years later reflected how highly the Bulls hierarchy rated him as a consummate team man. Even despite playing just two one-day games in 2016-17 and none in the Shield, the Bulls earlier this year offered him a fresh contract for the coming season – a rarity in an era where spots for veterans who aren’t at least on the fringe of national selection have become scarce.

Eventually he signed it but, within months, a tearful Floros was standing in front of his teammates before training on a Friday, telling them he'd quit his job.

"It was a pretty emotional morning the day I told the boys," he said. "I walked over in my casual kit and let them all know. It definitely took them all by surprise.

"There were a few tears – I wasn't bawling my eyes out, it was more just the emotion of it all. There were a few tears from a couple of the boys and a lot of hugs.

"But they were really happy for me … they were very understanding and I had calls from probably half our team that afternoon. They took me out to dinner that night to celebrate."

Skippers Tim Paine (l) and Floros (r) before a 2016  JLT Cup match // Getty
Skippers Tim Paine (r) and Floros (l) before a 2016 JLT Cup match // Getty

It was a decision Floros had stewed over for more than 12 months.

In the end though, there was no single factor that swayed his call. He concedes his lack of playing opportunities in recent seasons may have subconsciously worn him down, while some of the teammates he'd cherished sharing a dressing room had moved on.

The 27-year-old admits it was a relief to shed the stress that comes with a career in elite sport.

Floros flies to snare one-handed return catch

"I didn't really have my heart in it as much as I used to," explained Floros, whose departure paved the way for Chris Lynn to officially return to the Queensland squad. "The amount of commitment that's required to put your best foot forward in any sort of cricket now … I just didn't have it in me.

"A lot of the guys who I started playing my cricket with and had (developed) that deep mateship you get from multiple pre-seasons together have moved on.

"That's not to say I don't get on with the group now – completely the opposite. I love the guys and I still catch up with them.

"I still love the game, I just don't want to do it as a profession anymore."

Floros hits out for the Heat in 2015 // Getty
Floros hits out for the Heat in 2015 // Getty

Floros is on the path to finishing his accounting degree, while he'll also continue to play Premier Cricket in Brisbane for Wynnum-Manly. He won’t seek out a Big Bash deal but says he’d consider one if a team came calling.

He is also hoping to play some games alongside younger brothers Tim and Benji for his old Canberra club, Tuggeranong Valley, this summer.

"I've never played cricket with my two younger brothers," he said. "I've never actually seen my youngest brother play outdoor cricket.

"I'm super keen to go see that and remember why I started playing in the first place."