Academy players starring Down Under
Two current Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy members - Jack Tector and James McCollum - are demonstrating their talents on the field in Australia - one of the most competitive club-level environments in the world.
In 2013 Cricket Ireland established the Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy with the aim of identifying and supporting the most talented young male and female players in the country.
One of the highest profile ‘graduates’ of the Academy has undoubtedly been Simi Singh, who is currently part of the Senior Men’s squad. Simi points to his time at the Academy as the turning point in his cricket career and last year was named the 2017 Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Academy male player of the year.
Two current Academy members are demonstrating their talents on the field in Australia - one of the most competitive club-level environments in the world.
Jack Tector has been starring in Sydney’s 2nd Grade competition for the Randwick Petersham Cricket Club. The Club has a strong heritage of success and has been the breeding ground for Australian internationals such as Simon Katich, Nathan Hauritz, Usman Khawaja and David Warner.
Jack’s performances have been eye-catching, recently being awarded 2nd Grade Player of the Round for a recent innings of 67. Last weekend Jack was awarded the honour of leading the team out as 2nd Grade captain in a strong win over St George at Coogee.
As a side point of interest, Jack is the second Irish-born player to captain at the Club, but the first to captain at Premier cricket level, after Dale McDonough captained Metropolitan Cup two seasons ago (which was a win over Penrith).
Image: James McCollum (left) acknowledges a half-century; Jack Tector (right) captaining his club in Sydney
James McCollum, another Academy talent has been having a great season in Adelaide and at the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy on a Cricket Ireland Scholarship.
James has been playing for Adelaide University 1st Grade, coming up against tough opponents like Alex Carey (who has been on the fringes of Australia’s ODI and T20 squads) and Chad Sayers (mainstay of the South Australian Sheffield Shield team and in the running for Australian Test team consideration).
James, who hit a number of half-centuries over the Christmas/New Year period, was recently reflecting on the value of his experience Down Under:
“My primary purpose for coming out here was to take myself out of my comfort zone, test myself in a high standard of grade cricket and really develop my white ball game,” said James.
“Playing in the same team every weekend with guys like Jake Weatherald (who recently hit a century in the Big Bash Final), Joe Mennie (who has just been named as Lancashire CCC’s overseas professional for 2018), Michael Burgess and Phil Salt (who have both identified themselves within Sussex’s first team batting line up) and Nick Winter (who has just picked up two five-fors in his first two Shield games for the SA Redbacks), it’s been rewarding to break into the top order of a seriously strong team and learn from the guys who are already performing on the big stage.”
“Seeing how these guys go about their training and how they approach different forms of the game has helped me make changes to my game and training routines, I’m extremely grateful to Cricket Ireland for providing me with the opportunity.”
James was recently featured in an article in the local Adelaide papers and will be part of the Senior Academy squad heading to La Manga Club for a training camp in April.