Nathan Smith is still on the fast track but he is in no urgent rush to become a professional cricketer.
Smith, the outstanding Waitaki Boys’ High School fast bowler, decided to make himself unavailable for an Otago Volts contract in favour of completing his final year at school.
It would not be an easy decision for any schoolboy to turn down a professional contract, but there will be plenty of time for the talented 17-year-old to make a living out of the game.
“It’s just a case of wanting to finish school properly and gain my university entrance,” Smith said.
“If I made myself available for a contract, I might have had to move to Dunedin and basically become a fulltime cricketer and I feel it’s in my best interests to finish school as I’ve hopefully still got a lot of cricket left in me.”
Smith, who made his first-class debut for the Volts in Whangarei in March and claimed three wickets, will still be available to play for Otago while at school.
“That’s the plan. I’ll be making myself available for everything apart from games in November due to my NCEA exams.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play for the Volts again and hopefully I will get a few more games next summer.”
Smith is also looking forward to another overseas trip. He will follow his appearance for New Zealand at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year with a trip to India soon with Wellington club the Hutt Hawks.
“It’s an annual trip where they take a junior and a senior XI over. I will be playing for the senior XI against provincial sides in Mysore and Bengaluru.
“Over 16 days, we play 13 games _ six twenty20s and seven one-day games _ so the schedule is full on. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play in such polar opposite conditions and develop my skill set even more.”