THERE was little time for West Perth colts product Clint Hinchliffe to dwell on missing selection in the AFL Draft last year.
The multi-talented sportsman needed to clear his mind of the disappointment and focus on his other sporting talent – cricket – in which he represented WA at the U19 National Championships in Adelaide from November 30 to December 10.
After failing to reach double digits in his first two matches and taking just one wicket, the batting all-rounder hit his stride.
He finished the tournament scoring 446 runs with an average of 56 as the competition’s leading run scorer.
His left arm unorthodox spin took 10 wickets, including a 5-32 against the Northern Territory.
A product of Joondalup’s grade cricket program, Hinchliffe admitted it was frustrating to have been unsuccessful in the AFL Draft but knew he could not let it affect his cricket.
The 19-year-old’s efforts with bat and ball in the national competition had him crowned player of the series, which ensured he was one of the first picked in the Australian squad for this year’s U19 World Cup.
“It’s a great honour and an awesome achievement; it is obviously a thing you dream of as a kid,” he told waca.com.au.
“It is a great opportunity to represent your country.”
He attributed his rise to national prominence to the experience he had gained playing against seasoned cricketers in Joondalup’s top WACA Premier Cricket side from the age of 15.
Their superior understanding of the game taught him about the importance of attributes such as patience, which could often be difficult for young players to grasp.
With his football dream on the back burner, his intent turns to securing a WACA contract with WA’s professional side the Warriors.
From there, cricket could take him to the heights for which many aim but so few reach.
“Hopefully I can get a contract and get into the WA system and try my best to perform well,” Hinchliffe said.
“Obviously everyone dreams of playing Test cricket too.”