Cricket newcomer has risen quickly

Deans Marsh teenager James Rowan will be the youngest cricketer to represent Colac District Cricket Association at Melbourne Country Week.

COLAC and district country week cricketer James Rowan has come a long way after taking up the sport just two years ago.

Rowan, 18, joined mates Jesse Steenholdt and Josh Weatherhead at Deans Marsh Cricket Club as a 16-year-old and he quickly became one of the club’s top players.

The former Colac Secondary College student was the Swamp Rats’ A Grade opening bowler last season but Rowan opted to take a season off from the sport after the club withdrew its top-grade side this season.

“I was thinking about having a year off anyway, I was just worn out after footy and had exams coming up when the season started so I tried to focus of them a little,” Rowan said.

“But then I got itchy feet and wanted to get back into it,” he said.

Rowan, a senior Birregurra football premiership player, made a return to Deans Marsh’s Division Two cricket side seven rounds in.

Seven matches later has already claimed seven wickets.

His latest match produced figures of 5-21 against Colac West and caught the eye of former Deans Marsh teammate and Colac and district country week captain Leighton Hart.

Rowan will be the league’s only Division Two representative in the squad but a three-wicket haul in a practice match against South West Cricket Association showed he was more than capable at country week level.

“James wasn’t in the initial but we had a few players pull out, he’s still a very handy batsman-bowler,” Hart said.

“He’s been playing some good cricket with Deans Marsh in Division Two, but he’d be opening the bowling at any Division One club,” he said.

Rowan said he looked forward to testing himself at a higher level, then CDCA’s Melbourne Country Week campaign kicks off on Monday.

“It should be good playing a better class of cricket, bowling against some pretty handy batsmen,” he said.

“Getting to know the other Colac guys as well, I’m looking forward to it.”

• For more Country Week previews, see the current Colac Herald.

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