Cavalier Tim 'a natural'
A TALENTED teenage cricketer is thought to be the youngest batter to score a century in 24 years in the LJ Hooker league.
And his cricketing mentor believes a baggy green cap "is not out his reach,” comparing him to former Test player Phil Hughes.
Casino Cavaliers batsman Tim Martin, 15, set an earlier record when made his debut in the top grade at 13 years of age.
Now he's now made another after scoring 103 not out against Tintenbar-East Ballina Cricket Club last week.
And cricketing coaches are already predicting a bright future fro the boy from Doubtful Creek.
But the modest teen who bats at number four, said it was the home crowd aka the 12th man, that helped him score a ton.
"It was very exciting,” the Year 11 Casino High School student said.
"I love cricket, love practising and hope I keep improving.”
He said while the team and coaches at the Cavaliers are excellent, Tim said he owes his mum and dad for making the century too, after they spent the summer holidays driving him around the state so he could follow his cricketing dreams.
"We did 2500km for cricket in the last holidays, we went to Narrabri the week before Christmas,” he said.
"Then we came home, drove to Sydney so I could play a week there, then played week at Albury where i made 68, back to Sydney then home again.”
While balancing his passion for cricket by training for the Cavaliers two nights a week with matches on weekends, Tim also plays representative cricket for Casino in the U17 division.
But he hopes his cricket will take him further and aims to follow in the footsteps of his idol former Australian international Shane Watson.
"I've always looked up to him, Shane's the man,” Tim said.
Unlike his hero was was a renowned fast-medium swing bowler, Tim focuses on hitting the leather.
"I also field in slips,” he said.
"As the day progresses, will slip out to covers.”
Tim's cricket mentor Sam Irvine, 31, played for the Cavaliers for 16 years and said Tim's future is bright.
"I taught Timmy when he was eight at St Mary's Primary School and even then he was extremely talented, a natural,” he said.
"Tim is technically the best young batsman I have ever seen and I played with (Melbourne Renegades) Tom Cooper and (Test cricketer) Phil Hughes ”.
Irvine said while Tim's had a good grounding at the Cavaliers, a move is critical for the lad he said, "is incredibly talented.”
"I reckon if we can get him to Sydney or Brisbane in the next couple years, with a city club the world's his oyster,” he said.
"With the right club, if Tim gets the right coaching as with his head on his shoulders, a baggy green is not out his reach.”
Tim said he owed a great deal to Irvine.
"Since I first started with cricket he took me under his wing and coached me,” he said.
"He's helped me get where I am today.”
Although he's studying maths and English as well as metal work subjects, Tim said when he's not playing cricket or studying he's behind the wheel of a tractor.
"I do some work for the farm opposite where we live and I help my dad part-time,” he said.
"After Year 12 I want to take a gap year and see what I can do with cricket, see what happens.
"It depends if I move to Sydney or Brisbane.”
On handling the pressures that accompany so young a player, Tim said he aims to maintain his equilibrium.
"I have had a few lows as everyone does, I just keep going,” he said.
"You don't give up, you keep practising.”
With a work ethic balancing such talent, watch this space.