After picking up indoor cricket three seasons ago “just sort of mucking about” Lithgow Valley cricketer Joel Gurney has been picked for the state’s under 21 side contesting the sport’s nationals at the end of June.
“I have been playing cricket since I was a kid,” Joel said.
“I started playing indoor for Hills Tigers three seasons ago... I started in the grade system there and have been making my way up.”
Joel ascended to Sydney’s premier indoor cricket competition, the BBI, where he caught the eye of selectors.
“It’s performance based, so I had a good season last year and a good few games early this year and that’s what got me picked,” he said.
At 21-year-old Joel said he felt his years on the cricket pitch had contributed to his recent indoor success.
“It’s a bit rare someone blooms a bit late like that. It's usually people who have been playing cricket for a long time that can do that.”
Joel described indoor cricket as a “fast and intense” take on traditional cricket.
The game is played in two innings, with each player batting at least four overs and bowling two, with runs deducted rather than batsmen getting out.
Such variations make it an ideal game for an all-rounder like Joel.
“Indoor cricket is 16 overs a side, with four overs batted by pairs. So it makes it a skin based system, with four skins in each innings.
“Everyone has to bowl two overs, basically whoever scores the most runs wins.”
Over the past six months Joel has been travelling around the state to train with his new team. He will be contesting the Australian Open Championships between June 30 and July 7 in Toowoomba, Queensland.
“I was familiar with a few of the other teammates, some out of them are from the country, Maitland and Dubbo. We all gel really well together.
If I can take that form away to the nationals, I’ve got a pretty good chance of playing for Australia.Joel Gurney
“The NSW team is consistently good, they set a really high standard.”
If Joel brings his current level of play to Toowoomba, indoor cricket may take him to more exotic locations – wearing green and gold.
“Hopefully, if I have have a good tournament here I’ll get picked in the Australian team and tour Sri Lanka and India,” Joel said.
“But I’m sort of happy with where I am at the moment. I’ve been playing really good for Hills in the BBI.
“I’m pretty confident if I can take that form away to the nationals, I’ve got a pretty good chance of playing for Australia.”