Ashburton’s Harry McMillan will end his cricket year wearing the red colours of Canterbury at the national under 19 tournament in Lincoln this week.
The left-arm quick has been a standout bowler for St Andrew’s College in 2020 and is hoping his good form continues against some of the best young cricketers in the country.
Harry, 18, is also hoping to make his debut for the Mid Canterbury senior side in Hawke Cup play later this season where his speedy deliveries and swing will be welcome.
He played his early cricket for Allenton, with dad Hayden one of his first coaches, and played for Ashburton College until moving to STAC at the start of Year 12.
His new school won the prestigious Gillette Cup that year and talented Harry became even more hooked on the game.
He left this year after seven NCEA exams and with the school’s cup for the best bowler, reward for plenty of hard work and training, alongside academic study, over the past few years.
After-school trainings, followed by Saturday cricket and Sunday traditional school exchanges has resulted in a busy season. Harry tried to spend as many weekends as he could back in Ashburton, engaged in backyard cricket battle with brother Seb, who is a handy batsman turning out this week for the Mid Canterbury under 15 rep side.
No windows have been broken recently.
Harry said the only casualty was a window broken during catching practice, but that was years ago. Training is a usually serious business and he can be found at Argyle Park delivering cricket balls at 120km/h at a set of flexi stumps. He often sets a pair of sneakers down as if a batter was there too.
He manages the demands of fast bowling on his body; lower back, knees and shoulders can all take a hammering. He also has a strict stretching regime.
Harry said he enjoyed the gamesmanship of the sport as much as the physical aspect. He is known for deliveries aimed at outside off, that knick back, but every delivery is a chance to beat the batter.
He enjoys the partnerships he has with other bowlers and fielding over long days.
Harry is heading to Dunedin next year to study commerce and accounting at the University of Otago and hopes to play premier cricket for the University Grange Club.
The under 19 tournament started today and continues into next week. Canterbury, coached by Freddy Anderson, will be aiming to knock title-holders Auckland off their perch.
For Harry, it will be a chance to test himself against some of the best in the business.