Academy reward for Milenko
FORMER local cricketer Simon Milenko will join forces with an illustrious name when the Queensland Academy of Sport takes on the Tasmania Second XI in Brisbane this morning.
Milenko has been selected in the team as a bowling all-rounder and will partner Alister McDermott, the son of former Test fast bowler Craig, as part of the Maroons attack.
McDermott has also been named in the Queensland Bulls side to play Western Australia this weekend.
It's an exciting prospect for Milenko.
“I found out last week I was in the side,” the former Easts Far North Coast LJ Hooker League player said.
“I've been picked as a bowling all-rounder but I've been opening the batting for Gold Coast.
“I've been going okay. I scored 64 against University at the weekend, which is my highest score, and I made 31 and two in the other innings.
“With the Dolphins I don't get to bowl many overs because we have (Chris) Swan, (Alister) McDermott, Derbidge, (Daniel) Doran and Gibson.
“Three of those are State players and the other two are very good bowlers.”
It will be a step up in class for Milenko, although he has previously represented Queensland Under-19s.
The Bond University commerce student has been playing with the Gold Coast for the past couple of seasons and has been in and out of first grade.
But the 20-year-old is determined to cement his spot in the top XI for the Brisbane first grade premiers.
However, he said any talk of a bid for a Queensland Bulls contract was a long way off.
“I don't think that's even on the horizon at the moment. I'm just concentrating on playing first grade,” Milenko said.
Milenko played his junior cricket for Eureka in Lismore District competitions before joining Eastern Districts.
The QAS side is the Queensland Second XI that will contest a revamped Second XI competition to be known as the Futures League.
The Futures League teams will mostly be Under-23s with three over-age players allowed to be included.
The longer form of the Futures League concept will be three-day games with each side restricted to 144 overs - 96 in the first innings and 48 in the second.
Each side will be issued with only one new ball for the match and extra competition points will be allocated to sides that take wickets with spinners.
Competition organisers say it is to encourage captains to use their spinner and to get pacemen using reverse swing.
Meanwhile, another former Easts Hooker League player, Tom Cooper, has been named in South Australia's Futures League team to play Victoria today.
Cooper, who is returning to top-level cricket after having his skull fractured by a rearing Shane Harwood delivery last season, is expected to play first-class cricket for the Redbacks as well.