Lewis to lead Qld
By STEVE SPINKS
THE Far North Coast's next Australian cricket representative probably won't come from the ranks of the district's male population.
Lennox Head teenager Melissa Lewis has been recognised by Queensland selectors as a player on the rise and has been named as vice-captain of the Maroons Second XI to contest the Cricket Australia Cup in Brisbane from next Monday.
The Cricket Australia Cup is the annual Australian Second XI championship with teams coming from NSW, the ACT, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria.
It will be the 19-year-old's second time at the tournament.
Last year the leg-spinning all-rounder was the leading wicket-taker for Queensland and she finished as third highest wicket-taker for the Cup.
She has her sights set on improving on that effort.
Lewis has a burning desire to force her way into the Queensland First XI, the Fire, and then on to the Australian team.
But she's realistic.
The first-year Bond University journalism student knows she won't be picked in the Aussie team tomorrow.
"I really wanted to make the Fire squad this season," Lewis said.
"Not making it was disappointing but one of the reasons I missed out was that Joanne Broadfoot (Australian spinner) moved from Victoria to Queensland to join the police force.
"Next year I won't have any under-age cricket left, so I would expect to get in."
Besides her duties with the Maroons Second XI, Lewis will captain the Queensland Under-19 team at the Australian titles in Canberra in early January.
"Last year we (Under-19s) had a pretty disastrous carnival with injuries and no form with the bat," she said.
"We're much more equipped this season to have a shot at knocking over the big teams such as Victoria and New South Wales.
"Plus I really want to win as it's my last year in the 19s and I'm captain."
Between her club duties with Beenleigh-Logan, her representative commitments and her university studies, Lewis still finds time to do one day a week work experience with a local newspaper on the Gold Coast.
This work has already led to some paid articles for Inside Cricket magazine.
"I'm very passionate about cricket and one of the reasons why I wanted to become a journalist was to increase the exposure of women's sport," Lewis said.
"I have one article in this month and will have another in next month.
"It's been an exciting endeavour for me and hopefully it will continue once I've finished uni."
Before she makes her mark as a sports journalist, Lewis wants to make her mark as a cricketer.
It looks like she's well on the way.