Wil Parker, the 17-year-old Victoria legspinner, had by No means been to the SCG earlier than being handed a Sheffield Defend debut this week.
It has been a wide-eyed expertise: offered his cap by Peter Siddle – who’s his room-mate for the Sydney journey and made his first-class debut when Parker was three – to be the state’s fourth-youngest debutant (behind Gerry Hazlitt, Cameron White and Jake Fraser-McGurk), adopted by a day watching Nathan Lyon go about his work after which a maiden first-class wicket of a batsman who scored a Take a look at century a bit of over a yr in the past.
Kurtis Patterson, batting confidently on 54, superior down the pitch and acquired a skinny edge to wicketkeeper Seb Gotch though he would have been out stumped anyway.
“I did not assume I acquired the wicket as a result of Gotchy’s response was as if he’d missed however he ended up taking the catch which was fairly particular,” Parker stated. “Kurtis Patterson, not a nasty wicket to get first up. Over the moon.”
Did him with the mistaken ‘un? “Nah, it simply slid on,” he admitted. “I prefer to say I’ve a mistaken ‘un and a toppy, nonetheless engaged on the flipper.”
— Victorian Cricket Workforce (@VicStateCricket) February 15, 2020
Naturally for an Australian legspinner, particularly one from Victoria, the following half is pretty apparent. The point out of Shane Warne. “Oh, yeah, my idol,” he stated. “Let’s be trustworthy, each younger legspinner, not to mention a Victorian, ought to have Shane Warne as their idol.”
He has but to satisfy Warne. “That might be a dream to have a chat with about legspinning, particularly, and simply life as nicely.”
For a second contemplate that Warne performed his final match for Australia in 2007. Plenty of highlights have been watched on YouTube. On Parker’s bed room wall, the reminiscences are of more moderen Australian vintages: the 2013-14 Ashes-winning facet and the 2015 World Cup workforce.
Whereas a debut on the MCG could have ticked each field, striding out on the SCG is a heck of a strategy to see a floor for the primary time. “I am really a Sydney Swans fan so it is really not unhealthy debuting right here, fairly particular. I’ve by no means been right here, so first time to play right here is fairly particular.”
A (non-alcoholic) drink with Lyon after this match would cap issues off. “Yesterday [Friday] was fairly particular to take a seat again and watching from the altering rooms…that may be one thing particular, simply to take a seat down with him.”
The AFL point out strikes neatly onto one other main a part of the Parker story. He’s a massively proficient twin sportsman – tipped to have an opportunity of an expert soccer profession – with the selection that may deliver earlier than too lengthy, however not fairly but.
“There must be a time the place I decide however in the intervening time I am simply attempting to take every season because it goes. In the mean time it is cricket season, I am loving cricket, and when it is footy I really like footy. There shall be a time to decide however that is not simply but. Simply attempting to get pleasure from cricket in the intervening time, representing my state on the SCG is fairly particular.”
In the mean time he balances cricket coaching with Monash Tigers and soccer with NAB League facet Jap Ranges. “Presently I am attempting to get to some pre-season periods in the intervening time, juggle all of it. Nonetheless retaining match, kicking the footy round,” he stated.
Victoria team-mate Will Sutherland had the identical choice to make and went with cricket. “He reckoned he was at all times going to play cricket, whereas I do not actually know but,” Parker stated.
There’s sturdy sporting linage within the household. His uncle, Geoff, performed 37 first-class matches for South Australia and Victoria between 1985 and 1999. In 1988, he captained Australia Younger Cricketers on the Youth World Cup and in addition performed soccer within the late 1980s. He now works in AFL recruiting with Port Adelaide.