A young Southern Lakes batsman has dominated the Newcastle District Junior Cricket Association’s under-13 competition, scoring 411 runs at an average of 205.5.
So it was no surprise that Angus Ping, 12, of Blackalls Park, should also dominate the club’s recent junior awards presentation.
Angus won the district batting award, and was named the district’s under-13 Player of the Year (with 505 points).
He was also Southern Lakes’ Junior Player of the Year, and took out the club award for best junior batting average of 77 (compiled in under-13, -14 and -15 matches).
Angus said coaching had played a major role in his development.
“Last winter I did some private training sessions with one of the club coaches, Mike McKenzie, and I’ve gotten better since then,” he said.
McKenzie put Angus through a series of weekly batting drills, focusing on technique and the mental side of the game.
“We did a lot of work on my defence, and not getting out. A few years ago I just wanted to score runs, but Mike has taught me how to be patient, and pick my shots and the right ball.”
A former representative baseballer, Angus has a strong pull shot which destroyed many attacks.
In the under-13s, batsmen are required to retire once they reach 50. They can return to the crease at the fall of the ninth wicket.
Angus, the team’s captain and opening batsman, reached the mandatory retirement score seven times, and didn’t always go back into bat.
But he made the most of one such opportunity, returning to the crease at the fall of the ninth wicket in a game at Fassifern to boost his score to 80 not out – his top score for the season – and in doing so complete a rare 100-run partnership in the under-13s.
To put Angus’s numbers into perspective, the My Cricket website lists cricketers’ statistics in all age groups across Australia.
According to the website, Angus had the third best batting figures in his age group in NSW, and was 17th in Australia.
He’s already looking forward to playing in the under-14s next season.
This Thursday, he will resume his winter training regime with Mike McKenzie at Toronto’s Ron Hill Oval.
“I’d like to do some work on running between the wickets, and also more shots to the off side,” he said.
“It would be good to open up some more scoring opportunities around the wicket.”