Trio chase cricketing dreams

Bailey’s grandmother introduced him to the game when he was four.

‘Nan started throwing the ball to me down the hallway,’ the now 21-year-old all-rounder said.

‘When she wasn’t doing that, she had the cricket on TV for me.

‘Dad started taking me to games at the WACA and I started playing for the Gosnells Juniors when I was five.’

Bailey is now one of four WA men chosen for the squad, a selection of Australia’s brightest indigenous cricket players.

Three of the four are locals ” Bailey’s friends Alistair Bivens, also of Huntingdale, and D’Arcy Short, of Southern River, also won places.

All play for Gosnells Cricket Club, where Bailey’s father coached him and Bivens while the two were teenagers.

‘I met Ali through tee-ball,’ Bailey said.

‘He got me into playing softball and I got him into playing cricket ” we’ve been best mates since primary school.’

Bailey said they were all excited about making the squad.

‘It’s a good opportunity for us to travel and meet new mates. This is an honour for me and my family,’ he said.

Bailey’s selection has followed a string of achievements.

He captained WA’s victorious Imparja Cup side in February, and was named one of the tournament’s best players, then won the Lord’s Taverners Indigenous Cricketer of the Year award in March at the State Cricket Awards in Canberra.

His skills will be tested next month when the squad plays the Top End Cricket Carnival in Darwin, involving one-day and Twenty20 matches against ICC East Asia Pacific, Papua New Guinea, and Northern Territory Strike.

Cricket Australia national talent manager Greg Chappell, one of the squad selectors, said the players were picked based on their potential to develop into elite cricketers.

‘The experience will get them used to the professional lifestyle they can expect as they reach the next level,’ he said. The Top End Cricket Carnival runs from September 13 to 19.