Born-and-bred Colac cricketer Aaron Finch made the most of a rare opportunity to come home and share his journey in the sport with the district’s future stars.
The Australian batsman signed autographs, took selfies and spoke about his memories of starting his blossoming career in Colac to primary school pupils and high school students during a flying visit to Colac’s Central Reserve yesterday.
Finch made the trek down the highway with new Melbourne Renegades teammate Beau Webster and up-and-coming women’s Big Bash all-rounder Tayla Vlaeminck.
The Colac West product said he was thrilled to be able to remind people that his achievements in cricket came after starting out in a country setting.
“With the schedule being the way it is over the last few years I don’t get a huge amount of time to get home, particularly when school’s on it’s generally over the Christmas holidays seeing family,” Finch said.
“So it’s nice to get back here to see the kids and share how it was for me playing cricket in the country and to where I’ve got to.
“It’s where you learn to ply your trade playing cricket I suppose, playing cricket with men from a very young age, I think I was 11 or 12 playing against men.
“It’s great fun, you play cricket in the summer and footy in the winter.”
Finch was on a camp based at Geelong over the past week with his Renegades teammates in preparation for their BBL campaign, which starts against the Hobart Hurricanes next Thursday.
Silverware in the Cricket Australia’s exciting new franchise has eluded the Finch-led Renegades during the first six seasons.
But the passionate ‘Gades skipper said he was confident a new-look squad had the ability to find success in 2017-18.
The club has enjoyed a busy off-season recruiting the likes of current Australian limited overs quick Kane Richardson and former Australian batsman Brad Hodge, with the pair both crossing from the Adelaide Strikers.
“We’ve added a lot of experience to our squad,” Finch said.
“You touched on Hodgey, Kane Richardson who has played a fair bit of cricket for Australia now and we’ve still got Brad Hogg, Jack Wildermuth, who is a young up-and-coming gun from Queensland, so to recruit his services is outstanding.
“I’m really excited about the year ahead, we just have to wait and see how it pans out.”
Finch said he was happy with his own form heading into the shortest format of the game after a solid start to the summer for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield ranks, scoring three half-centuries for the Bushrangers from his five outings.
Finch also blasted 76 runs from 39 balls during an intra-club match at Geelong on the weekend.
“I feel really confident in my game,” he said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.