Country cricketers let the Heat wave in
CRICKET: Brisbane Heat fast bowler Luke Feldman hoped to inspire country kids to stay in the game and not be deterred by where they come from.
In Rockhampton alongside Central Queensland product Courtney Hill, the Big Bash duo helped out on the final day of the Brisbane Heat Junior Clinic.
They conducted batting, bowling, fielding drills, covering the basics of the game, all of which, lapped up by the eager youngsters.
The three day clinic, saw 55 juniors aged from six to 14, work for four hours a day with specialist coaches from Queensland Cricket.
Feldman, who admits he was never a stand out junior, said regional kids could profit from a slight advantage city kids could only dream of.
"In a way, because country kids don't continually play in their own age-group, the country kids do have an advantage by playing against men early,” the 23-cap Heater said.
"14, 15-year-old kids playing first class cricket is great. It is very tough, but to get that experience at that ages, makes them much better in the future.
"I know when I was a kid, we didn't have many opportunities to meet sporting professionals. So it is great to get out to the regional areas and interact with these kids.”
Monto-born and Rockhampton raised Hill was flushed with excitement at the array of talented girls taking part in the clinic.
"As I walked in, I noticed the pig tails and braids and it is a good sign, I think there are a lot more girls in the country playing cricket,” the school teacher said.
"The challenge of playing with and against the boys is definitely something to take pride in.
"Some of the kids here have come from as far west as Barcaldine and Alpha, so if we can't make the hour trip from Brisbane then it would be disappointing.
"There is certainly some talent here, that's for sure.
"I was talking to them about pathways through cricket and to be honest, I really believe that playing regionally is nothing but an advantage. Be it boys or girls.”
Women's cricket in Australia has never been better placed and Hill wants to see regional juniors to cash in. She wants more youngsters to follow in the strides of Jess Jonassen, Tess Cooper, Nathan Reardon and herself.
"It is so exciting,” she exclaimed.
"The Big Bash kicked things off last year and it has rolled on again. People are really getting behind the Heat which is great.
"If you look at the Heat squad, 80% would be country girls. It is certainly a real breeding ground for women's cricket.”