Amongst the new recruits to the Australian Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy is a name that may become familiar to Canadian cricket fans, Stewart Paul Heaney.
This 22 year old has no first-class experience and has up to this point only represented the Australian Capital Territory. ACT takes part in the ACB Cup, competing against State 2nd XIs/ Academy teams, and Heaney averaged just over 30 last season, with two fifties. generally batting number 5. He last played in this 4-day competition in 2000-01, but averaged on 17 at that point, playing against many who have subsequently represented full state XIs. He also played in the National Under-19 championships and represented ACT at the Australian Country Cricket Championships in that season. He grew up in Tuggeranong, who he represents in grade cricket. He also had a season playing in England turning out for Hyde in 2002 as their overseas player, and on one occasion making a century and taking 5 wickets in a one-day match.
What relevance does this have to Canada? Simply that Stewart was born in Prince George, British Columbia on 17 October 1981, and is thus qualified to play for the national team. His selection for the prestigious CBCA indicates that he has considerable potential, following in the footsteps of many who have gone on to represent their country at the highest level including for example Craig White, Brett Lee, Michael Bevan, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, and of course John Davison. Since 1988, this program has produced 139 first-class cricketers and 32 of those have gone on to represent Australia at either Test or one-day international level.
Congratulations to Stewart, and perhaps one day we'll see him follow in the footsteps of John Davison into Canadian colours.