The Cricketer You've Never Heard Of Is Here To Save The Summer
A star is born.
And this uplifting tale doesn’t even feature Gaga or Bradley Cooper (what a formidable partnership that is though. Is Gaga a right hander?)
Out of Australian cricket’s darkest day, #sandpapergate, in South Africa earlier this year, a shining light has emerged.
And this beacon of hope’s name is Will Pucovski.
The 20-year-old batting prodigy demanded the sporting spotlight on Wednesday, scoring a stunning double century for Victoria against WA in Perth. It was just his fifth Sheffield Shield match.
His 243 came off 311 balls and featured 30 boundaries. It was the fourth highest individual score by a Victorian since 1998, the year Pucovski was born.
Plus, batting at number three early on a lively early-season WACA wicket enhances this display, but that’s not the wow factor about this yarn.
The young gun suffered three concussions last season taking his tally to a frightening seven.
It’s worth noting between the first and third head knocks of summer 2017-18 came his maiden first class century -- 188 against Queensland. A milestone of significance and patience as he faced 414 deliveries in a marathon innings.
Everyone who was anyone identified Pucovski’s ability and potential early.
The signs were there early as he dominated all levels of junior and representative cricket, making runs for fun. But it was two years ago when he made national headlines for setting a run-scoring record at the 2016 national under-19 championships plundering more than 600 runs for the tournament.
It doesn’t matter whether he’s playing club cricket for Melbourne or representing his state, Pucovski lets his bat do the talking. A step up in standard has always been matched by his efforts.
There’s plenty to like about the wildly talented right hander, who looms as a once in a generation batsman. He’s overcome more physical and mental setbacks than anyone should endure but has remained upbeat, is resilient and articulate and above all a lovely young man from a great family.
Pucovski will play for Australia, it’s just a matter of when.
The Victorian has the chance to build on his form with four consecutive Shield games to come. And if he continues to do what he does best he should be picked for the Australian Test team. It’s as simple as that.
Opener Matt Renshaw was picked at 20, two years ago, while Steve Smith and Ricky Ponting both donned the baggy green at 21 years of age.
Imagine ‘Puc’ debuting on Boxing Day, walking out to bat on his home deck in front of a packed MCG. Well that’s what I picture in my cricketing day dreams anyway.
With three players still serving suspensions from that nightmare in March, two of which are both our and the world’s leading batsmen in Smith and David Warner, there hasn’t been too much to cheer about during the current series against Pakistan. For the first time in years, we could be in for a long summer on home soil.
But one thing is for certain -- Aussie cricket fans sure do have something to be excited about.
Will Pucovski. Remember the name.