ECONOMICAL: 14-year-old Mitchell Hay from Taroom is relishing the opportunity to represent his region at the state level.
ECONOMICAL: 14-year-old Mitchell Hay from Taroom is relishing the opportunity to represent his region at the state level.

BBL obsession leads to state selection for young player

DELIBERATE and economical 14-year-old Taroom cricketer Mitchell Hay is competing at the Sunshine Coast Cricket Association U14 Summer Development Carnival this week.

Although not participating in the State Championships, the right-arm fast bowler is taking advantage of this opportunity to represent the Darling Downs and South West regions as he looks to bowl over rivals from across Queensland.

The South West and Darling Downs region selected two squads, the first goes to the State Championships and Hay is in the second development squad.

Regional coaching co-ordinator for South West Country Cricket Darryl Langton said, by his recollection, Hay was the first Taroom player to make this development squad for a number of years.

“This development carnival is designed to give the opportunity to play a lot of cricket in a carnival atmosphere,” Mr Langton said.

“It’s still a very high quality carnival but with more focus on player development than you’d see at the State Championship.

“We’re seeing a number of players across the South West region (Taroom, Miles, Chinchilla, Charleville) enter this player pathway into the Darling Downs and South West with Queensland selection after that.”

Today marks the second last day of the carnival where Hay and his teammates will be keen to get their first win of the carnival after losing their first three 50 over matches.

Hay’s mother Dee said she had to endure four hour drives to Toowoomba and all across the South West and Darling Downs regularly since last August so her son could trial and be a part of the development squad.

“If you want your kids to play cricket out here it’s what you do,” Mrs Hay said.

“Mitchell is aware of that and he appreciates the effort.

“When training is four and a half hours away and you’re getting home at 9pm on a Sunday night and back up for school the next day it makes for a big weekend.”

MAIDEN OVER: Fast bowler Mitchell Hay is, by all reports, the first Taroom cricket player in several years to play at the state level.
MAIDEN OVER: Fast bowler Mitchell Hay is, by all reports, the first Taroom cricket player in several years to play at the state level.

Hay’s mother describes her son as a tall fast bowler who has a very deliberate demeanour in the way he acts on and off the pitch and if it wasn’t for the Big Bash League, he may never have chosen to play cricket.

“He has a good maths’ brain and the statistics of cricket appeal to him because of that,” Mrs Hay said.

“He only started playing three years ago when him and his brother got hooked on the Big Bash League.”

Across his three games so far, Hay has taken three wickets at a bowling average of 17, with his best figures 2-27.

“Mitchell’s statistics are stacking up well this week, he’s economical but would love to get more wickets,” Mrs Hay said.

“While his team haven’t won yet, the improvement over the carnival has been remarkable.”