|FINE ALL-ROUNDER: Simon Keen is delighted to have been the 229th player chosen to play first grade for Bankstown Cricket Club. him a Sports Award.-------------------------------------------------------Photo: NICK ANDREAN||
By: PAUL HAIGH
FOR Simon Keen the number 229 will aways carry a special significance.
The 17-year-old all-rounder last week became the 229th player to play first grade for Bankstown Cricket Club and the left handed batsman can't hide his delight.
The Westfields Sports High School Year 11 student has been officially designated with the number 229.
The school's head cricket coach Ian Gill has played a large role in Keen's development at Bankstown.
Gill coached Keen in the club's A Green Shield under-16 representative team for several seasons, but now Keen is too old for that age group.
"Simon has come through the junior representative ranks and you could always tell he would play first grade, Gill said.
"He is a very fine batsman and bowls medium-pace as well.
"He can do a lot of things, Simon is a good all-rounder in the making.
"Simon will also handle the new
pressures and responsibility of playing first grade well too.
"The school is also very proud of Simon for reaching first grade at such a young age."
The youndster said he was a "little nervous" on debut but enjoyed the experience.
"I was nervous before I batted, i batted number eight and scored 19," Keen said.
"The boys in the team were very good to me, I didn't really expect to make first grade this year, but it happened. "It's something I have always wanted to do. Play first grade."
Keen recently received a "sporting blue", a NSW Education Department award for excellence in sport for the Sydney South West region, for his cricketing achievements.
For the statistically minded Mark Waugh was No. 148 to play first grade for Bankstown Bulldogs and twin brother Steve was No. 150.
The tradition will now continue with Simon Keen.
22nd December 2004