She?s apples, says Brendan
By ADRIAN MILLER
THE Apple Isle is abuzz with Pura Cup cricket final madness as the match between Tasmania and New South Wales gets under way today, and former Alstonville player Brendan Drew will be in the thick of the action.
Drew, 23, has played for Tasmania since he was plucked from Sydney grade cricket in November 2005 and he has moulded himself into an indispensable member of the Tigers team.
The former Alstonville High School student has played 16 first-class matches for his adopted State (46 wickets at an average of 37) since his arrival and can't wait to attempt to bring the Pura Cup to Tasmania for the first time.
"The whole build-up has been excellent," he said.
"I've gone from playing a bit of club cricket to playing in a Pura Cup final in a pretty short space of time, so it's exciting."
Tasmania have never hosted a domestic cricket final let alone won one, and Drew said the feeling around Hobart was electric.
"It's very exciting times down here," he said.
"A fair few people have jumped on the bandwagon and there is plenty of interest about, which is quite good.
"Hopefully the extra public interest will bring along a few more people to the game."
Drew moved to Sydney after winning the LJ Hooker League with Alstonville in 2001-02, playing three seasons with Balmain before his move to Tassie.
He has had a solid 2006-07 season for the Tigers, playing 10 matches.
The right-arm fast-medium bowler has taken 26 wickets at an average of just over 40, and contributed 90 runs batting low in the order at an average of 10.
Even though he didn't take a wicket in Tasmania's win over NSW in the final round of the Pura Cup, he is confident going into the final.
"Definitely, we're confident," he said.
"We finished on top of the ladder after beating them last week, so that's given us extra confidence and there's no reason why we can't do it again."
And Drew has plenty to look forward to after the final, having been selected to attend Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane in the off-season.
"They say the Australian selectors chose the Academy members from the best youth first-class cricketers in Australia," he said.
"I'm one of 16 people so it's a good opportunity to really concentrate on my cricket ? to totally live cricket and work on getting the little imperfections out of my game."