April 16, 2012

Australian cricket

From baggy green to putting green

Brydon Coverdale

The list of Australian cricketers who have succeeded in other sports is small but select. Victor Richardson (baseball), Keith Miller (Australian rules football), Brian Booth (hockey) and Dirk Nannes (skiing) are just a few of the men who have dabbled in other fields. Greg Blewett might be the next somewhat surprising name on the list.

Blewett has been selected to represent South Australia at an interstate teams golf tournament in May. And while it's an amateur competition and Blewett has no immediate plans to take his golfing skills on the professional tour, he hasn't ruled out the possibility of taking the sport further, particularly in ten years' time when he would qualify for the seniors tour.

"Being around some of the pros and some of the top amateurs, I'm a fair way off," Blewett told the Australian Cricketers' Association. "I'm fairly realistic - I'm 40 years of age and am really happy with my employment at the moment, so I just can't give all that up and have a crack. If you'd really want to do it you'd have to sink a lot of time into it. That's just not an option at the moment. I'm going to keep trying to get into some amateur events, keep practising and then see what happens after that.

"Maybe more realistically, I can join the seniors' tour, which you can compete in once you reach 50. Try and get my experience up until then, but in the meantime I don't have any real ambitions of hitting the pro circuit."

Blewett plays off a handicap of +2 and turned down the chance to commentate on Australia's Test tour of the West Indies so he could play in next month's tournament. One man who is in the Caribbean is Ricky Ponting, an outstanding golfer in his own right, and the man Blewett credits with influencing his golf while they were both Test cricketers.

"We played a bit when we were on tour," Blewett said. "He's always been better than me. He comes from a real golfing background, so he set the standard."


Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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