A Benalla Bushrangers all-rounder has contributed to a historic Victorian victory in the National Indigenous Cricket Championships.
The tournament, also known as the Imparja Cup, was played in Alice Springs recently. It was Victoria’s first ever win in the competition.
Wade King, 17, was selected for the state side in January just a month before the tournament started, on the back of some good form with the Bushies.
‘‘The good thing is that it’s in the pathways to pro cricket now. D’arcy Short got picked up last year by the Hobart Hurricanes. Hopefully I’ll be picked for the state side again next year,’’ King said.
King was most proud of his batting for Victoria during the tournament. He batted three times and was not dismissed in any of his innings. He also posted 13 runs in the grand final.
King also bowled well; against home side Northern Territory he bowled all 10 overs going for just four an over.
‘‘I was pretty happy with my performance, I think I did well against Northern Territory — a quality opposition. I went for 40 off 10 overs; I mean, I’ll take that,’’ he said.
In the grand final his side stopped NSW’s batting attack just 18 runs short of Victoria’s 228-run total.
‘‘Nick Boland bowled (the last ball) and it was caught at mid-off, it was pretty surreal. To be in that first Victorian side to win the cup was pretty special,’’ King said.
It was King’s third time in the indigenous Victorian side; in the first he said he ‘‘acted more as a water boy’’ but gained valuable experience. For his second appearance he was a second interchange bowler and lower-order batsman.
King said a high point from the tournament was working with Victoria coach and former Australian national cricket team player Julian Wiener.
‘‘He was very professional — the way he went about things, and he always had a plan. Some coaches you work under, they’re just there for fun — but he really knew what he was talking about, which was great,’’ King said.