FROM not having picked up a cricket batthree years ago, Queanbeyan Cricket Club’s latest recruit Josh Connolly hasenjoyed a meteoric rise through the sport’s ranks.
Last month saw the Brisbane product namedin the ACT Comets squad and the 20-year-old also looks set to form a crucialcomponent of Queanbeyan’s multiple title campaigns this season.
But unlike the majority of those he’ll beplaying alongside in the Bluebags first grade line-up, Connolly didn’t grow upwith bat and ball in hand.
Instead, Connolly’s considerable sportingtalents were dedicated toward a promising tennis career that saw him at onestage ranked as one of Australia’s top junior players.
“I don’t think I picked up a cricket batuntil I was about 17,” Connolly said in his first interview with The Age since joining Queanbeyan. “Iprobably got to a point though in my tennis career where I was at a crossroads.
“After being on the state and nationallevel, I felt like I wasn’t going to be good enough to go on from there to theinternational stage so I thought I’d look at other avenues for a sportingcareer.
“Cricket was an opportunity for me just toenjoy sport and also to get the opportunity to play with my mates which Ididn’t get to do with tennis.”
Connolly’s switch from the tennis court tothe cricket pitch began when an opportunity presented itself to tour Englandwith his school side and the talented off-spinner hasn’t looked back since.
Last season, Connolly was thesecond-leading wicket-taker for his local club Sandgate-Redcliffe in the Brisbanefirst-grade competition, taking 27 wickets at an average of just under 37.
It’s an enviable record for a bloke who hasonly been hitting the nets for a couple of years.
“Itdid come fairly naturally to me but it’s hard for me not to become impatientand to keep in mind I’ve only been doing it for such a short period,” Connellysaid. “I like to think I’ve worked pretty hard on it though as well since I gotinto it.”
Connolly’s opportunity to join Queanbeyanand the Comets this season arose through a connection with former Comets playerand Southgate-Redcliffe teammate Jordan McLennan.
After seeing Connolly in action, McLennanrecommended he get in touch with Comets coach Mark Higgs who offered him a spotwith the Canberra-based representative side.
Queanbeyan Cricket Club.2012/13 gains:
Chris Russo(Tuggeranong), Josh Corbett (Wests UC) and Josh Connolly (Brisbane).Losses:
Mark Higgs, DeanSolway, Blake Dean, Michael Spaseski, Daniel Rootes, Michael Curtale, SimonMackie, Dean Southwell and Lea Hansen.
Queanbeyan Cricket Club’s latest recruit Josh Connolly has only been playing the sport for three years. Photo: Andrew Johnston
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.