CQ cricketer to play for Australia at T20 World Cup
CRICKET: Rockhampton's Sean Walsh will realise his sporting dream when he lines up for Australia at the 2018 Deaf ICC T20 World Cup in India next month.
The 21-year-old, who has been selected as the team's frontline spinner, cannot wait to get his first taste of international cricket on what will be his first overseas trip.
Walsh is the sole Queensland representative in the 14-man Australian squad which will travel to New Delhi on November 16. They will play three practice matches ahead of the World Cup, which starts on November 23.
Eight nations will compete in the World Cup, including hosts India, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Walsh is counting down the days to his Australian debut.
"It's been a long time in the making so for it to come to fruition is something that's really exciting,” he said.
"It's been a lot of hard work put in for a lot of years from me and my family.
"To be part of this squad now feels kind of surreal.”
Walsh said the Aussies could expect some red-hot competition in India.
"There's a lot of talented players out there from other countries,” he said.
"We have a lot of youth in our squad, which is exciting.
"Everyone will have to execute their role and hopefully 11 little jobs will add up to one good performance.”
Walsh started playing cricket at age five as part of the Milo in2Cricket program but said it was watching the Ashes series of 2005 that really ignited his passion for the sport.
"I can still remember sneaking out of bed late at night to watch it,” he said.
"That was undoubtedly the greatest ever Test series. Unfortunately Australia lost but the cricket that was played, the hype around it and the crowds - the whole thing was really inspiring for me.”
Walsh said he was also incredibly lucky to have been mentored by Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who he met when playing for Queensland for the first time at the national deaf championships in 2012.
"He's had a huge influence on my career, and it's great to have someone like him to aspire to,” he said.
"He's gone from a hero of mine to a friend of mine, which is absolutely crazy to think about.”
Walsh said the Central Queensland cricket pathways had been instrumental in his success, and he credited Jason Wells with playing a big part in his development as a spinner.
Walsh took 35 wickets in the Rockhampton Cricket competition last year, including one seven-wicket haul.
He is hoping to enjoy similar success next month.
"I just need to back my own ability and know that even though I'm competing on the international stage I've put the work in to take wickets,” he said.