With summer starting to heat up, cricket is the main game in town at the moment while our players sweat it out on the training track in preparation for next season.
In the spirit of Australia’s love for the bat and ball, we’ve compiled a theoretical Crows XI ready to swap sports and don the baggy blue, red and gold.
The Crows XI
1. Matt Crouch
A tough in-and-under footballer, Crouch’s hardy style makes him a perfect opening bastman. Crouch was a gifted junior with North Ballarat and made his A Grade debut as a 14-year-old. He made 77 runs at the U14 State Championships and also represented Victoria in the U17 National Championships in both 2010 and 2011 before committing to football. A solid stroke player suited to wear down the new ball, Crouch will also act as wicketkeeper for the Crows XI.
2. Matthew Bode
Bode makes the cut as a shrewd selection from Adelaide’s staff. When not kicking goals for the Tigers in the SANFL, Bode padded up for the Glenelg District Seahorses in his junior days. Torn between football and cricket, Bode traveled to England in 1997 to play a season with Bolton in the Lancashire League, fronting up against the likes of former Australian opener Brad Hodge, before being picked up by Port Adelaide in the 1998 Pre-Season draft. Bode had the unenviable task of opening to ‘The Wild Thing’ Shaun Tait in a charity match almost a decade ago and forgot an important part of his kit – a helmet! Bode survived, and somehow made two boundaries off the first two balls before being dismissed. He later admitted he didn’t even see Tait’s 150 km/h thunderbolts flying down the pitch.
3. Alex Keath
The obvious selection to bat at No.3 as the leading batsman in the Crows XI. The all-rounder played first-class cricket for Victoria, represented the country at the 2010 U19s World Cup alongside current Australian cricketer Mitch Marsh, and most recently played with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League boasting a strike rate over 120. Keath also claimed four wickets for the Prime Minister’s XI against the West Indies in 2010. He is still pursuing a career in the sport while training with the Crows, and has made two tons in his last two innings at Grade level with Prospect.
4. Jarryd Lyons
Regarded as one of the best all-round sportsmen at the Club, Lyons originally played with the Omega Cricket Club in Moorabbin. He captained Australian spinner Ashton Agar at De La Salle College in Melbourne and the pair also won a school premiership together in 2011. A talented state cricketer for Victoria at U18 level, Lyons knows how to handle the willow and should score well at No.4.
5. Richard Douglas
Another Crow who could’ve been lost to cricket such was his talent. Douglas was reportedly on the radar of the Victorian Bushrangers before he was drafted by Adelaide in 2005 after impressing as a junior with his local Broadford Cricket Club. A technically sound batsman, Douglas played alongside Bode in a charity match at Adelaide Oval back in 2006, but fell victim somewhat comically to some flash work at the stumps by fast bowler-turned-keeper Jason Gillespie.
6. Brad Crouch
Brad gave up the sport earlier than young brother Matt, but was still a talented cricketer. The pair would often play backyard cricket or head down to the nets at North Ballarat where fast bowler Brad would serve up regular bouncers to his younger sibling. Brad was runner-up best and fairest as a junior with the Ballarat Cricket Associaton’s fourth grade side boasting impressive numbers with both bat and ball. He slots perfectly in the traditional ‘all-rounders’ spot at No.6 in the Crows XI.
7. Taylor Walker
The big-hitting Walker could do some damage coming in late in the order for the Crows XI. Tex slogged boundaries for North Broken Hill Cricket Club as a youngster and showed his wares by smacking Brett Lee for two ‘boundaries’ in a short net session at Adelaide Oval in 2012. Walker still enjoys heading home when he can over the offseason for a casual hit with his mates.
8. Tom Lynch
Another well-credential junior cricketer who played representative cricket for Victoria. Lynch played alongside Australian fast bowler James Pattinson at high school and allegedly claimed more college wickets that ‘Patto’ - arguably due to his best mate playing at a higher level for much of his junior career. Lynch’s father, Andrew, is Cricket Victoria’s current Chairman of Selectors and his grandfather also has strong lineage in the sport with St Kilda Cricket Club. Lynch arguably deserves a spot higher up the order on pure batting ability, but he fits best at No.8 for overall team balance.
9. Brodie Smith
Smith comes into the Crows XI as an all-rounder who previously played with the Grange Cricket Club as a teenager. Smith’s best haul was five wickets for just three runs in an U15s Grand Final, while he also chalked up a 100 not out with the willow on his 17th birthday. A medium pace bowler, Smith uses swing and movement off the seam to claim his victims.
10. Sam Jacobs
The 202cm ruckman is an avid cricket fan and padded up as recently as last summer for his beloved Ardrossan Blue Crabs. A wicket-taking medium pace bowler, Jacobs’s best haul was a 4/15 from eight overs against Paskeville/Boors Plains in 2013. ‘Sauce’ knows how to handle the bat as well. Jacobs plays primarily through the middle order but has also opened on occasion for the A Grade team, with his highest score a handy 31 in the 2008/2009 season. Jacobs is also an official ambassador for the Adelaide Strikers.
11. Rory Atkins
Left-handed batsman Rory Atkins closes out the Crows XI. He was a member of Strathmore Cricket Club in his early teens and also played representative cricket with Coburg, scoring a few half-centuries along the way. A self-confessed ‘chucker’, Atkins was actually called for throwing during a junior match which, thankfully, saw him focus his sporting exploits back on footy.