DUBBO, Brisbane, Johannesburg - that’s the travel log for three young local indoor cricketers who have taken their game to a new level.
For Marty Jeffrey, Wade Burrowes and Ben Patterson making the New South Wales Country Cyclones team was big - playing in the Australian Junior Championships in Brisbane was big - but making the Australian squad to play in the Junior World Series in South Africa was even bigger.
The dust had hardly settled on the national titles in Brisbane before officials announced squads to play in the World Juniors from September 28 until October 6. Marty played in the under-12s winning Cyclones team in Brisbane while Wade’s 14s, and the 16s spearheaded by Ben, also did well, prompting selectors to name all three for the World titles.
The boys are also equally at home in the outdoor cricket game playing with Newtown junior and senior sides with Ben Patterson named as last year’s Whitney Cup first grade Rookie of the Year for his fast bowling.
Five Country boys in total made the Australian sides with Connor Slattery (Bathurst) and Jye Tasker (Inverell) in the under-12s.
Jodi Patterson is one proud mother and is delighted all three Dubbo boys have been rewarded for their efforts.
“For our boys to make the national sides is an enormous effort. There were probably 100 to 120 kids involved in each grade in Brisbane and the standard was very high,” she said.
“They are all very excited about playing for Australia and going overseas for the first time.
“They knew Australian sides would be selected after the tournament but never thought they would be considered good enough.
“I’m just so grateful for sport in general and for Greg King and the others at Dubbo Sports World for promoting the game in Dubbo.”
Already the three boys have had precautionary vaccinations and it’s easy to tell that the excitement is high.
But now the hard work starts with fundraising activities and the like before they leave on September 26. The tour levy is $3800 per player and already the parents of the boys, and the Dubbo Sports World Stadium, are planning the next line of attack.
The other expense is for training camps with Ben’s group getting together in Victoria; Wade’s 14s in Queensland the 12s for Marty in Sydney. Then there’s also spending money.
“Greg (King) at the stadium is planning a big fundraising day and we’re looking at raffles so the more support we can get the better,” Jodi Patterson said.
The first practice sessions for the boys are on September 28-29 in Johannesburg and the tournament opening ceremony on September 29 will open the door for the championships that wind down on October 6.
As expected it won’t be all indoor cricket for the boys with a number of day trips on rest days. They will visit Lost City, Valley of the Waves and a game safari experience in Pilanesburg National Park.