Fearless skipper buzzing to play after moth, knee sagas
FATHER-to-be Alex Welsh could be forgiven for sitting out Saturday's one-day match after an extraordinary series of events.
However, the new Laidley skipper is planning to play a part at Bichel Oval despite two major setbacks in Mackay last weekend.
Captaining the SEQ team at the Bulls Masters T20 Country Challenge, Welsh was struck down twice in less than 24 hours.
The first saga was having a moth removed from his ear after fielding in the Friday night game.
"The moth went straight in and we couldn't get it out,'' Welsh said.
"We tried to push it out with water, or whatever, and no good, so we went to the hospital and they tried the same.
"It (the moth) was still alive while it was in there. It wasn't very nice.
"They killed it with some oil and then tried pushing it out again and couldn't get it.''
After Welsh received some local anaesthetic, the troublesome moth was finally removed.
In trademark fashion, Welsh wanted to return to play on before the extended hospital visit ruled that out.
The next day against the Gold Coast, he aggravated his left knee while on 20.
Welsh was 53 not out when finally succumbing to the pain.
Welsh said although he'd had problems with his knee the past two seasons he didn't expect it to flare up.
"While I was batting on the weekend, it just all of a sudden went on me,'' he said. "It just became unmanageable.''
Welsh didn't play the rest of the T20 tournament.
He's getting his knee further assessed next week, suspecting it might be a slight tear.
But with the new club one-day competition starting on Saturday, Welsh was keen to lead his side against Toowoomba opponents Metropolitan-Easts.
"I'll be playing . . . in what capacity I don't know at this stage,'' Welsh said. "I'll probably bowl.''
Although Laidley are still finalising their second and third grade squads, Welsh expected Ipswich's defending two-day, one day and T20 champions to be competitive this season.
"First grade is looking good,'' he said, welcoming back top order batsman Ged Sippel.
Sippel's batting maestro brother Mick is also returning, within reach of becoming the Ipswich competition's leading scorer.
Welsh expected Ben Gibson and Terry Emerson to open the bowling.
Travis Ilka is back as wicketkeeper.
The new skipper said the batting order would be flexible.
Welsh knows some of his Toowoomba opponents having played with them at representative level like the Webb Shield.
He rates them handy cricketers sure to provide an early test.
Launching Laidley's one-day season completes a dramatic week for the popular English-bred allrounder.
In more welcome news, Welsh and his Aussie wife Jessica announced they are expecting their first child in April.