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Young talent . . . Union and North Otago all-rounder Blake James is another young player on the rise in the region. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Union all-rounder Blake James is another of the young crop of North Otago cricketers making a name for themselves. The Otago under-17 and under-19 representative played his first Hawke Cup game for North Otago against South Canterbury last month, making a solid contribution with the bat. Daniel Birchfield had a chat with Blake about his involvement in our summer game.

Q: How are old are you?
A: I’m 18.

Q: When did you first get into cricket?
A: I started playing backyard cricket when I was younger and started playing club cricket when I was about 7.

Q: What attracted you to the game in the first place?
A: I just found it interesting as soon as I started playing. It was one of the things I loved doing.

Q: What do you enjoy most about playing?
A: The place you travel to, playing other teams that you don’t usually play and making friends with other players at tournaments.

Q: What was it like making your Hawke Cup debut for North Otago?
A: It was good – it was different from the other cricket I’ve played. It’s a high standard of cricket.

Q: Did you have any cricketing idols growing up?
A: Stephen Fleming. He was a left-handed batsman like me and I loved watching him – he was a great batsman.

Q: What are your long-term goals in cricket?
A: To try and go as high as I can and go overseas, hopefully, and play some cricket over there.

Q: How do you describe yourself as a player?
A: I’m a bowling all-rounder – I like to say I’m a bowling all-rounder, anyway. I’ve been working on my batting for a while and I’ve been getting better at it so I can add to my game.

Q: What’s your most memorable moment on the field?
A: Probably winning the Borton Cup last season for Waitaki Boys’.

Q: How did it feel to help break the North Otago record for the eighth-wicket partnership with Francois Mostert?
A: I didn’t have any idea we broke the record. I was quite surprised, really – we didn’t go out to break records or anything.

Q: How do you fancy North Otago’s Hawke Cup chances?
A: We’re going to need to win this next game and hopefully the other games in the region go our way. That will give us a chance to win our region.

Young talent . . . All-rounder Blake James in action for North Otago against South Canterbury during their Hawke Cup clash in Timaru last month. PHOTO: NICCI SMITH