Jaden leads Wide Bay
AS THE only member of the Wide Bay under-14 side at the Queensland Junior Cricket championships from the South Burnett, Jaden Heness had to do his talking on the pitch.
The 14 year-old proved his allrounder credentials at the pre-Christmas carnival from the off, coming in at nine to produce a match-winning 24 not-out in the opening game.
It proved to be one of the few highlights for Jaden's side, who managed just two wins for the carnival.
A narrow loss to eventual champions Gold Coast showed the potential of the team, but Jaden's Dad and team manager Steve Heness said it was part and parcel of junior cricket.
"We went better than expected actually, with five new kids in the side. We probably should have won against Gold Coast, but nothing we can do about it now,” Steve said.
"The first day Jaden batted really well, he pretty much won the game for us. But I would say the highlight was his (four wickets) on the fourth day against Darling Downs.”
It is rare to see a dedicated spin bowler in junior cricket, but Jaden's right-arm offspin proved more than a handful for his opponents.
The 4/23 from 10 overs against Darling Downs propelled him into ninth at the carnival for bowling average, and as the smallest in the side Steve sees great potential in his son once he hits his growth spurt.
"He is getting more confident, he's improved a lot since he was younger,” Steve said.
And it started young for Jaden, who had a bat and ball in his hand almost before he could walk.
Many an afternoon the backyard with his family moulded the youngster's love for Australia's favourite summer pastime.
Further representative selections do not occur until under-16s, and Steve will got to bat for Jaden for as long as he wants to pursue his cricketing dreams.
"I think any kid would like to play for their state and their country, but that's still a long way away,” Steve said.
"We won't push him, it will be something he wants to do.”
Jaden returned for Warriors B in the South Burnett competition at the weekend and claimed 5-17 in an impressive display.