Rockingham Mandurah all-rounder to captain WA team

Rockingham Mandurah all-rounder to captain WA team

ROCKINGHAM-MANDURAH all-rounder Damien Burrage has been selected to captain the WA U19 team for the Cricket Australia U19 Championships in Perth.

Burrage has been playing WACA cricket for Rockingham-Mandurah since U13s and has played his way into the Mariners first XI over the past three seasons.

He had a breakout summer in 2015-16 where he made his first hundred in the premier U17s competition.

However, he hopes this season and tournament can be a launching pad for a state career and ultimately an international career with national selectors picking the next U19s World Cup squad from the championships.

Being chosen as captain is a lot of responsibility on top of his personal aspirations, but Burrage said he has gotten used to the extra pressure of captaincy.

“It’s a privilege to start with, and it means that my teammates and selectors respected me for what I do and trust me to lead the team,” he said.

“Our group is very forward-thinking as a whole so my jobs actually quite easy because everyone else controls what they need to… I think that’s what makes us come together as quite a good team.

“The way I view the captaincy is that if I think I can help the team, I will bowl myself… people say that might sound greedy, but if I can help the team, then I’m gonna do it.”

Burrage is looking forward to having teams from the Eastern States travel to play WA on their home patch and the chance to take on rivals such as NSW Metro as well as Queensland.

“I think we have a pretty good team so I am looking forward to seeing what we can do,” he said.

“There’s a couple of rivals with NT because I was up in Darwin during the dry season so I’m quite good mates with a couple of their players and there’s a bit of rivalry there.”

He is currently training three times a week in Perth on top of gym sessions and training with Rockingham-Mandurah to be ready for the rapid-fire tournament.

“Every game is a final in such a short tournament,” he said.

“We play five round games so if you lose one you’re pretty much out.”

The team will be looking to follow the lead of the U17s side who won their first state championship tournament since 2010-11 with a one-run victory in October.

The U19 Championships runs from December 2 to 12 with WA kicking off the tournament against Tasmania at Cresswell Park.