National titles await Sam
MURWILLUMBAH wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Reading has such a sound technique that if aliens ever invade Earth, they should closely examine the way he plays cricket.
That's the opinion of Andrew Bennett, his captain last season in the Far North Coast Cricket LJ Hooker League.
Reading yesterday was named in the New South Wales Under-19 team for the national championship in Adelaide from January 11 to 20.
And if he adopts a no-nonsense attitude, Bennett believes the cricket world will beat his mercy.
"I remember when Adam Gilchrist started scoring hundreds at a young age in Lismore against the men," he said.
"He set the standard for all wicketkeeper-batsmen.
"Sam needs to adopt that same attitude.
"If he does, they'll pick him for the Earth XI against Mars."
Bennett saw some special qualities in the young star last summer.
"He only played a few games for us because he broke a finger," he said.
"But I've played with some of the best wicketkeepers including (former Test player) Greg Dyer and he worked harder than anyone else.
"Sam is the same."
Neil D'Costa will coach the NSW Under-19 team.
D'Costa has made a name for himself coaching the likes of Australian Test captain Michael Clarke and opening batsman Phillip Hughes.
"I played with D'Costa for many years at Western Suburbs in Sydney grade cricket and if anyone can help Sam, it will be him," Bennett said.
"He's a no-nonsense coach and makes young cricketers want to score thousands of runs.
"Selectors at this level want to pick winners at a young age.
"They were talking about Clarke being a future Australian captain when he was only 15 or 16.
"So Sam just needs to combine the very good technique he already has with a hunger to bat for six to eight hours.
"He had the talent to go out and score a hundred for us every game last season but he didn't.
"But he was never intimidated by playing against the men."
Reading scored 103 and took eight catches and a stumping playing for NSW at the Under-17 national championships in Hobart last summer.
The NSW Under-19 vice-captain Kurtis Patterson yesterday was named to make his Sheffield Shield debut.