North Otago Cricket looks set for a promising future with three players named in the Otago under 17 squad to contest the national under 17 tournament in Wellington in January.
Nathan Smith, Llewellyn Johnson and Brady Kingan were selected for the side after strong performances at the Otago Cricket Association District U17 tournament held here in Oamaru during Labour Weekend.
Johnson scored a rapid 65 not out against Dunedin, while Smith scored a much more circumspect 76 against Southland, and bowled well in all the games. Meanwhile Kingan showed his skills with the ball, wicket keeping gloves and the bat when he scored an unbeaten 100 against Otago Country.
North Otago under 17 coach Francois Mostert said it was pleasing to see the three of them selected.
“Yeah I’m very glad for them that they’ve made the team and that they have shown they can make the next level.”
While they didn’t have the greatest tournament until the last day, Mostert said they deserved to make the side.
“Llew and Brady showed their talents on the last day and I’ve played with Nathan and know how much potential he has.”
North Otago Cricket Association chairman Peter Cameron is delighted to see three local players in the squad.
“I’m absolutely stoked, it’s great for them to have been picked and it’s fantastic for the province.”
Cameron said it has been a long time since North Otago have had three players in the Otago Under 17 side.
“The last time I think we had three people in the team was back when David Sewell, Duncan Drew and Neil Rushton were all selected in the side, which was sometime ago.”
The three players in the squad shows the hard work North Otago Cricket are doing off the field to get as many players as possible in the Otago representative teams.
North Otago Hawke Cup manager Hamish McMurdo said he thinks the boys will do really well.
“I think they’ll go well, Nathan, Llew and Brady have been performing well in senior cricket and Nathan has even performed well at Hawke Cup level.”
McMurdo made special mention of Llewellyn and the fact he’s just 14-years-old.
“He’s going to have a few more years in this team and being selected at 14 is a pretty big deal, Nathan and Brady have deserved it as well.”
They play over eight days from January 13-21.
By BRAYDEN LINDSAY
PHOTO: PAULA SYMES
NEXT LEVEL: Nathan Smith left and Llewellyn Johnson have been selected for the Otago U17 team.