Taking the crease in Australia will be the realisation of a dream for British cricketing brothers Matt and James Heafield.
Matt, 21, and James, 26, landed in the country last week after more than a year of e-mailing back and forth to play cricket for the Merimbula Knights.
“It was a dream to come out, definitely,” Matt says.
The pair have been playing for about seven years after moving from London to Derby.
The move spawned a love for the sport in their early teens and they’ve never looked back.
Both brothers got in the training nets on Saturday during a special junior development camp to hone their skills in the Australian conditions.
The duo showed some skills at the crease and potentially potent spin-bowling prowess.
But even on a mild spring day, the temperature provided a bit of a culture shock for the pair.
“We’ve been here a week today,” James said on Saturday. “We felt pretty dead from the jet-lag for a few days, but it’s the heat that is going to take some getting used to.”
It was actually through a former school teacher that the duo got in touch with the Merimbula club.
“My old school teacher, Richard Lane, actually lives in Tura Beach, he’s an Aussie and used to teach in England,” Matt said.
“So i got in touch with him and told him it would be a dream to come out and play.”
The pair discovered Merimbula Knights president Luke Ryan lived “just a few doors down” from Mr Lane and an e-mail trail began forming with plans for the trip.
Talks lasted “a bit over a year” and the brothers set themselves up well for an Aussie summer, they lined up working visas and already have a unit in Merimbula to operate of.
“I can’t wait to play,” Matt says. “I want to see what it’s like.”
James adds that the pair haven’t heard any mutterings of specific players to watch for yet.
“There hasn’t really been names mentioned, but you hear so and so is a good bowler,” he said. “They’ve told us just to wait and see what it’s like.”
The pair were meant to get their first taste of local competition on Saturday, but unfortunately, the Bluedogs withdrew from A grade at the last minute, leading to a draw change.
A new draw is close to finalised and the season will launch as a four-team comp this Saturday.
In junior news, Saturday was a representative development day.
Association spokesman Grant Keogh said top level coaches from the Cricket ACT high performance squad Kyle Pepper, Luke Butterworth and Michael O’Rourke led young charges through their paces at Berrambool Oval. The teams have begun training in preparation for the SZC competition to start on October 23.
More junior news online.
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