South Queensland under-19 cricketer Luke Barrett.
South Queensland under-19 cricketer Luke Barrett. Claudia Baxter

Luke's focus on big game

NOT even impending university exams can help Luke Barrett take his mind off cricket this weekend.

The Central Districts all-rounder lines up for South Queensland under-19s against their counterparts from North Queensland at Allan Border Field, Albion, on Saturday and Sunday.

"I'm looking forward to it," the just turned 18-year-old sports science student said.

"I've thought about it a fair bit."

It's been on his mind since being picked in the South Queensland team, following South East Queensland's O'Dea Shield triumph last month in Gympie.

There he was joint leading wicket-taker and made a handy 30 in one game.

He expects some tougher going against the North Queensland lads, who will defend a proud record.

"I've played there once (for Queensland under-12)," Barrett said of the Queensland Cricket headquarters oval.

"It is a really good pitch, normally flat and good for batting.

"North should be fairly strong.

"They've won it the past three years."

Barrett admits to a few nerves but goes in confident in his form.

It includes 25 not out to get his team to victory against Laidley last start and his Webb Shield debut in Ipswich's upset win over Toowoomba last month.

"I've been batting well at the start of the season," he said.

"I'll just keep focussing on what I need to do.

"If I play my own game, hopefully I can take the next step."

That would mean Queensland Country under-19 selection, which was one of the main carrots keeping Barrett in Ipswich this summer.

Like so many before him, he has weighed up the idea of heading to the Brisbane competition.

Having played Plunkett Cup for Wests, it will be an easy transition when he does decide to go.

Yet Barrett remains appreciative of what Ipswich cricket has done for him, from junior ranks to Webb Shield.

He cites vice-captain and fellow left arm tweaker Paul Milne as a positive influence.

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