Cricketers hit world stage

Cricketers hit world stage

Two local cricketers have returned from a trip of a lifetime in South Africa, after being selected as part of a prominent cricket academy tour.

Mount Gambier juniors Jayden Prior and Georgia Barrett toured South Africa, not only having the opportunity to play on international pitches, but immersing themselves in the country’s culture.

The duo toured with the Jason Gillespie Academy, based in Adelaide, spending three weeks playing against different standards of teams in various formats.

Gillespie, the newly appointed Pakistan Test Team coach, travelled with the teams during their time overseas.

Gillespie said he enjoyed taking part in the tours with up and coming cricketers.

“It is an opportunity to experience different playing surfaces against players who may play the game differently to how Aussie kids play,” he said.

“Also it is an opportunity to have a life experience with other likeminded kids who end up becoming lifelong friends, we like to add in experiences the players may never get in Australia.”

Prior, who was sponsored by MG Plasterers for the trip, said it was a privilege to be the captain of the team during the tour.

“Being the captain on the tour with the Gillespie Academy to South Africa was an incredible experience,” he said.

“It was both an honour and a responsibility to lead such a talented group of players.”

Prior said he faced several challenges while serving as captain of the team but was grateful to have the guidance of Gillespie.

“I found myself constantly challenged to make strategic decisions on the field and to motivate and inspire my teammates off the field,” he said.

“Leading a team under the guidance of such a legendary figure in cricket added an extra layer of motivation and pressure, but it was a challenge I embraced wholeheartedly.”

Prior said he enjoyed experiencing the different cricket culture in South Africa and exploring the different environment that South Africa offered.

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of the trip was experiencing the rich cricketing culture of South Africa, exploring the beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities of South Africa during our downtime was truly memorable,” he said.

Barrett was also grateful for the opportunities that being part of the tour provided.

“Being a part of the tour gave me a huge opportunity to witness the lifestyle in which the people from the local community live, the cultural performances and meals were incredible,” she said.

Barrett said her favourite part of the tour was spending time exploring the amazing things in the cities they visited.

“My favourite part of the tour was the time spent at the Victoria Falls when we saw the waterfall and having the opportunity to go on the zip line and gorge swing,” she said.

The local duo’s coaches were pleased with the youngster’s efforts during their time on foreign soil.

Coach of the boys’ team Lovey Singh said he was quite impressed with Prior’s performance during the tournament.

“I think Jayden had a pretty good tournament, especially as a captain,” he said.

“He’s got a cricketing mind, which is very hard to teach someone, either you have it or you do not, and he has got that, he is a natural humble leader.”

Girls’ coach Graham Sedunary was full of praise for Barrett and her tournament.

“Georgia had a good tournament, bowling well in each game, and chipping in with good runs when she had the opportunity,” he said.

This year was the first time the tour included a girls team and Sedunary said he was proud to coach and be part of the inaugural female team.

“It was a proud moment for our business, and we hope that we will mirror the boys program each year moving forward,” he said.

“Equality in cricket terms is very important to our business, and to me personally.

I took great pride in watching the girls learn and thrive throughout the time away, adding awesome life experiences as well as cricket knowledge.”

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