Howard's life of cricket

RYAN HOWARD is living cricket.

The 18-year-old Lismore lad has been in England for 10 weeks playing county cricket for Harrow St Mary’s in Middlesex.

He lives in the groundsman’s cottage with the head groundsman and family – and is learning that craft; his cut shot has been put to good use in the club kitchen, and he has been joining in the coaching of the junior teams.

Howard has been on a formal visit to Lord’s, seen a John Mayer concert at Wembley Stadium, and will watch the Australia v Pakistan Test match from a corporate box. But most importantly, the Lismore Southern Districts cricketer is wielding willow like his life depended on it, showing the Poms a few things they haven’t seen from an Aussie in a while.

In 16 innings since first padding up for Harrow St Mary’s, Howard has bludgeoned 800 runs at an average of 66.67 – more than double the tally of the club’s next best batsman.

Howard has struck three tons and three 50s in his haul, and all at a strike-rate of 146.77.

“I’m pretty much in the form of my life,” Howard told The Northern Star via email. And that form has seen the teenager selected to represent the greater London area on a trip across the North Sea to take on representative teams from Holland.

“Apparently there are heaps of Aussies there so I can’t wait,” he said.

But in between the batting lessons he has been giving the Poms, and will no doubt give the Dutch, Howard has been learning some of the forgotten arts of cricket.

He states that he is now a master of “preparing a pitch, mowing a pitch, rolling a pitch and painting a pitch”.

But if he achieves his goal of 2000 runs in the season, which he is well on his way to doing, it would be fair to assume that he will be mastering the pitches, and the bowling attacks, from the inside of a helmet for some time to come.

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