Flixton and Yeadon all-rounder Ben Elvidge has followed in his dad Neil’s footsteps after flying out to Australia to play for Sydney Cricket Club.
The 19-year-old will play for the same club his dad Neil enjoyed a spell at in the 1990’s, when they were under their previous guise of Balmain Cricket Club.
Elvidge flew out on Saturday for a seven-month stint playing grade cricket, and he’s expecting a rude awakening right from the word go, but he’s excited nonetheless
He said: “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do really.
“It’s such a good standard over there and I know it will be a great experience for me away from cricket too.
“My dad has told me all about what it’s like playing cricket over there and I know it will take a while to settle down and get accustomed to it.
“He says they’ll try and knock my head off first and get in my face - which sounds about right for an Englishman going to play in Australia.
“I think I’ll have to earn the respect over there and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that.
“Provided the wicket is good, I like a bit of pace on the ball anyway, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Elvidge has been on tenterhooks for the past two months since the trip was confirmed, and he has big boots to fill after former England batsman Joe Denly played for the club last season.
But Elvidge is looking forward to getting stuck in, and his first game could come in the form of a two-day game against Sutherland, should he make the second grade cut.
He added: “I’m going over in decent form after having a good year for Yeadon in the Bradford League.
“I batted at four this year and averaged just short of 50. I felt good with the bat.
“I also bowled pretty well and kept my economy rate down to two or three an over, so I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.
“Hopefully it’ll improve me as a player as well and I’ll come back better.”
A host of high-profile names have turned out for the Sydney Cricket Club, including former England man Graham Thorpe.
Ben’s dad Neil, who enjoyed a season Down Under at the same club in 1995/96, is delighted that Ben has undertaken the same adventure, 17 years on.
Neil said: “We’re very proud of him as a family.
“I hope he does well over there. It was the hardest cricket I ever played - It was tough to get used to it.
“He’s had his first training session and he couldn’t believe how different it was.
“The wickets are so much harder and quicker out there and he said it was tough. But hopefully going out there will mature him as a cricketer.
“A guy who I played with while I was there, Simon Cooke, is now the bowling coach at the club, so he’s looking after him too.”
Elvidge admits the family will miss Ben, but technology means they can keep in touch better than when he made the trip. “I had to write letters when I went. They have Skype, Facebook and other things now, so it’s not as bad as it was.”