Selectors stumped by Ipswich captain
ONE of Ipswich's rising cricket stars has put Queensland selectors on notice with a brilliant individual performance at the QCC Bulls Masters Cup last week.
Under the watchful eyes of former Queensland Bulls stars Andrew Symonds, Jimmy Maher and Chris Simpson, Ipswich Grammar School student Will Kraschnefski showed his natural leadership as captain of the South East Queensland Stormers.
Flying from Brisbane to take part in the five day tournament in Mackay, the Stormers were greeted by their first challenge, torrential rain and a drowned pitch.
"We got there and it was bucketing down," Will said. "We were meant to have a 50/50 that day but it got changed to a T20 on a really wet pitch. On the third day it finally turned sunny and the groundsmen got the pitch back into really good order."
Despite some early losses and an unlucky streak with the toss, the 15-year-old said the opportunity to captain such a talented team had been an eye-opening experience.
"I've captained at other carnivals before but this one was definitely a step up," he said. "Not only are you trying to do well for the team but you also have to make sure everyone individually is getting a chance to perform and show themselves to the Queensland selectors.
"I just tried to make sure everyone got a fair go and in doing that the team actually went a lot better."
Given the extra challenge of managing his fellow teammates, Will said he had been too busy concentrating on the team as a whole to know that his own performance had been noticed by the tournament officials. Scoring more than 200 runs and taking eight wickets, the young all-rounder was awarded the Matthew Hayden Medal for player of the tournament, despite the Stormers finishing fifth overall.
"I never thought about the result for myself at the end of the tournament," Will admitted. "When I was called up I didn't expect that I was even in the running for it. When you are there you hear about how other blokes are going but you don't know who else has lots of wickets or runs, you just have to do the best you can."
As captain of the Grade 10 school team and playing club cricket with the Centrals 16s and Opens teams, Will said he would continue to maintain a busy schedule of training and study.
"I'll stay with both but school cricket is going to be a priority," he said. "We are losing Aaron Moore who has been such a big figure in IGS cricket and created a really good atmosphere, but there's more great coaches coming through.
"It's really easy when you have a lot of mates doing it. Through school cricket I never find it a struggle at all because you can rock up to training knowing you will have an absolute belter of a time."
Despite comparing his own batting style to that of Glenn McGrath, Will said it was former Australian all-rounder Adam Gilchrist who he tried to emulate during his countless backyard training sessions.
"I loved Adam Gilchrist," he grinned. "I've watched his highlights so many times and I just love watching how positive he went about the game.
"Today I like watching Dave Warner. I don't bat like him at all but it's just good to watch how he can punish a ball that's not bad at all because he just plays every shot so well."