Player diary: George Lavelle part two
Down Under player diaries
George Lavelle, Lancashire wicket-keeper batsman, is spending his winter Down Under in Sydney as part of the International Cricket Programme Academy – an Elite training programme and club placement for professional cricketers seeking a season in Australia.
The 18-year-old, who has been Down Under since October, gives us a second update on his winter...
Just another update of how I’m doing over in Australia. As promised, the weather has improved, although some of you may have seen on the news that Sydney was hit by a ‘once-in-a-century’ storm the other week. However, currently I’m writing this tour diary from Coogee Beach and it looks like it’s set to stay warm.
Since I last wrote a few things have happened out here with my club side. Toby Lester landed about three or four weeks ago, so it’s good having him around the club and at training. The first weekend he was over here we went over to Manly to watch a North Sydney T20 and got to see Steve Smith and Shane Watson in action.
My club have played three matches since the last tour diary entry and we’ve won two and lost one. On a personal note, I’ve been pretty happy with how I’ve played so far. I’ve been feeling really good keeping and my batting had been feeling in good shape without really getting a score, so I was relieved to score my first century out here last week against Mosman. I hit 153 from 251 balls and I was even happier to do it as part of a winning cause.
Also, in the last few days I’ve been lucky enough to sign my first professional contract with Lancashire. Signing the first one is a special moment in every players career and to do so with my home county is especially so – I am looking forward to the hard work which will start when I return to England.
With the Academy that I’m out here with (International Cricket Programme) we were lucky enough to have a meeting with former Australian international Michael Bevan the other day, he spoke all about his views of professional sport and his approach to batting in one day cricket. We spoke to him for about half an hour and it was really valuable for us lads to be able to pick the brains of one of the best one day finishers that cricket has ever seen.
Outside of the cricket, two of my schoolmates were in Sydney for a few days as part of their gap year, so it was good meeting up with them and going around to see all of the sights together. Also, a few weeks back it was the Melbourne Cup, the Australian equivalent of our Grand National. They go mad for it over here and the working day pretty much stops when the race is on. We spent the day down at Randwick racecourse where there was also a few races on and it was great experience to be around for one of the biggest days in the Australian sporting calendar.