Andrew Duffield, the coach of a junior team from the Jason Gillespie Academy in Adelaide that has just toured England, telephoned on Tuesday after returning home to Waikerie only hours before to report that the two Waikerie youngsters in the squad , and Premier Sports “Young Guns” Ben Schiller and Amreo ‘Levi’ Singh had topped the bowling and batting figures during the five game trip.
“Ben took eight wickets including a ‘three for’ in a tough match against a strong Yorkshire side while Levi scored 259 runs at an average of 64 including a 100 against Kimberley Institute and 90 not out against the Kent academy.” Andrew said.
‘Duff’ was amazed at the way England, a ‘Basket Case’ in world cricket not so long ago was going about developing its juniors.
“Everyone is involved he said including the schools. They are identifying kids at 13, entering them into academies at 15 when they are paid to play and stay until they are 19″.
“From there they go into a type of AFL Draft situation and may be put on County club rosters.
As well as Duffield and the two young players Waikerie ‘Man Of All Sporting Abilities’ Jon Matthews went on the tour as the team`s ‘trainer’ and attended any fitness or injury problems.
“He had a ball” said Duff “although we did so much walking he has dropped a fair bit of condition”.
The Gillespie team won three of its five games in England “which made us the most successful Australian team touring there at the moment” claimed ‘Duff’.
Amongst the many impressive youngsters the Australian team encountered in opposition Andrew nominated Yorkshire`s Matthew Fisher as “an absolute gun”.
Which brought him to a story about our “Young Gun” Levi Singh.
“We were playing Yorkshire” explained ‘Duff’ “and Levi was due to bat at number three and remarked to me that everyone was saying that Fisher was pretty quick”
” He`s pretty slippery I agreed to which young Levi said that he would perhaps try to show then that the English lad could be hit”.
“With Jason Gillespie sitting with me we witnessed Levi quickly twice ‘drop kick’ Fisher back over his head for six” ‘Duff’ said.
“We can expect to hear a lot more of Ben and Levi in the coming season”.
As far as the development of cricket in England is concerned Duffield`s report will worry Australian fans even more as our system now seems to have resulted in the basket heading towards this country.