Sydney Thunder star Daniel Sams has capped off a tour of the far west regional cricket scene with a stop in Dubbo.
The all-rounder and his former Thunder team-mate and current NSW Blues wicket-keeper Baxter Holt both visited schools and cricket communities in Wellington, Gilgandra and Coonamble during a two day trip across the Central West, culminating in a visit to Dubbo.
Both players got a chance to test the mettle of the Central West's next cricket stars in development and provide guidance to students interested in the sport.
"We've been doing a lot of assembly meet-ups, and we've done a few skills clinics, but one of the biggest things at this age is just to get them involved and let them have fun with it."
Sams said the experience is familiar territory for him, his life-long passion for cricket was kick-started when his older brothers introduced him to the sport.
"Same kind of thing, I grew up with three older brothers and they got me started bowling to them, figuring it out and helping me along."
Sams, who is coming off of successful debuts for both the Sixers and thunder in the Big Bash League and a stint overseas as a member of the Vancouver Knights alongside Chris Gayle, says the tour has been a welcome change of pace.
"It's been really interesting coming out here and seeing all the kids, it's been great playing some cricket with them and getting to answer some of their questions, it's been really fun."
"We've been asked a lot of interesting things, one kid asked us what our biggest fear is in cricket, which is getting into some deep territory."
"They've asked us about things like how we deal with the pressure and how we prepare for games, so it's been good to answer questions like that."
Sams says that the level of intensity and passion for cricket, even among primary school kids, caught him and Holt off guard.
"Every single place we've gone to the cricket's been unbelievable at the schools, and the joy on their faces is great, and we've seen some really good skills."
The trip was part of a broader initiative that saw 11 Sydney Thunder players tour NSW and the ACT, and Sams says he's grateful to be given the opportunity to play for the Thunder after making his debut with the Sixers in 2017.
"I'm really happy, it's a really great franchise and the fans are fantastic, they always back us and support us regardless of how we're playing, which is unreal," Sams said.
"I'm very, very pleased with how last year went and I'm looking forward to this year coming, I'm really excited for next season, we're preparing really well right now for the Marsh Cup and that'll flow into the T20 stuff really well."