Honiton CC net Aussie starlet for the next couple of weeks

11:41 30 June 2014

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HONITON Cricket Club has landed some overseas aid for the next few weeks of the season thanks to a family connection, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

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Young Aussie all-rounder Nathan McSweeney is over from Queensland for a month visiting relatives.

Nathan’s second cousin is Honiton stalwart Pete Matravers, who is putting him up for a month.

“Nathan’s grandmother came over about 15 years ago and traced the family in the UK,” said Matravers.

“Nathan came over for the first time last year with his parents and grandmother for a UK tour.

“We had a big, family barbecue and Nathan looked good playing garden cricket with my two young lads so this is how it all started.”

McSweeney had an Australia U15 trial shortly before coming over to this county. Although he didn’t get through he will have another crack next year.

“Nathan is on a scholarship to one of the top public schools in Brisbane – St Joesph’s Nudgee College School - where they take their cricket pretty seriously,” said Matravers.

“I think he has been surprised about the English attitude to practice as they do far more in Australia.

“We turn up and have a few throw downs before going out. Over there it’s fielding practice for an hour before they start.”

Nathan plays for Northern Suburbs U16s in Brisbane, where the senior team includes Aussie one-day star James Hopes, West Indies Test batter Brendan Nash and Kent and England U19 batsman Bell Drummond. That’s a collection of serious cricketers!

Young McSweeney is over in the UK for a month during the Australian winter school holidays.

He has played a couple of games so far – one in the Bradleys East Devon Youth League and also for the Honiton 1st XI in the D Division of the Devon League.

“He won the game for us against Whitchurch on Saturday with a splendid 45 not out,” said Matravers. “He also bowls off-spin and took two for 25.”

As part of Nathan’s mini-tour he will be playing some games for the Somerset Stragglers over the next couple of weeks.

An invite is also on the way to play for the Devon Dumplings against the Free Foresters at Seaton later this month.

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