Tony catches top job on the pitch

Queens­land Brah­mans win the ti­tle; Monto born and bred Hamp­son’s lead­er­ship skills hon­oured with cap­taincy of na­tional side

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

GET­TING named cap­tain of an Aus­tralian cricket side is the dream of just about ev­ery bloke in the coun­try.

And it’s an hon­our Monto’s Tony Hamp­son can now lay claim to, after be­ing named cap­tain of the Aus­tralian Coun­try Cricket team ear­lier this month.

“It’s def­i­nitely the high­light of my ca­reer,” the 30-year-old bat­ter-keeper said.

“I didn’t ever think I’d get the op­por­tu­nity again for some­thing like this to hap­pen.”

Hamp­son was awarded the na­tional cap­taincy after lead­ing the Queens­land Brah­mans to vic­tory in the Aus­tralian Coun­try Cham­pi­onships.

Tony Hamp­son Per­son­ally, it was one of my best car­ni­vals.

TONY Hamp­son has been named to lead the best coun­try crick­eters.

After be­ing named cap­tain of Aus­tralia’s coun­try cricket side, and cap­tain­ing the Queens­land Brah­mans to vic­tory in the Aus­tralian Coun­try Cham­pi­onships this Jan­uary, there can’t be much left for the 30-year-old left to strive for in the am­a­teur’s game.

“It was def­i­nitely the high­light of my ca­reer, get­ting named cap­tain of the Aus­tralian side,” Hamp­son said.

“It was some­thing I’d never thought I’d do. I had come close (to be­ing named in the side) be­fore but didn’t think I’d get the op­por­tu­nity again. I guess cap­tain­ing the Queens­land side to vic­tory helped.”

The Monto born and bred crick­eter went into his first tour­na­ment with the Queens­land cap­taincy aim­ing to win more games than they lost.

“We ended up win­ning three, los­ing one and had one washout, so I was very, very happy with that,” he said.

“Per­son­ally, it was one of my best car­ni­vals.

“I didn’t make a mas­sive amount of runs, but I was very clean.”

The num­ber seven bats­man had a top score of 33 not out, and made 11 dis­missals be­hind the stumps with 10 catches and one stump­ing, as well as a run out.

“When I’m keep­ing the first thing I work on is al­ways just to catch the ball. You don’t get a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for a stump­ing at that level, but it’s some­thing you’ve al­ways got your eye out for,” he said.

When it came to set­ting the field, Hamp­son said he would keep it generic to start off with and get his bowlers hit­ting off-stump, be­fore mod­i­fy­ing it after suss­ing out the bats­man.

But like a true pro­fes­sional, his on and off field con­duct was a big contributor to him get­ting the nod for Aus­tralian cap­taincy.

“Team spirit was some­thing we tried to build up re­ally early. When the team was first named, I was chat­ting to ev­ery player three times a week ini­tially,” he said.

“We didn’t re­ally have any team rit­u­als, but each player picked a song and we made a team CD that played through­out the day.

“I chose Work­ing Class Man by Cold Chisel.”

And although the team “couldn’t play up too much” after win­ning the Bendigo-based tour­na­ment, as they had a 6am bus to catch the next day, they did hit one of the lo­cal pubs after the clos­ing cer­e­mony.

Hamp­son de­scribed the Aus­tralian coun­try cricket team as an honorary side at the mo­ment, although they are hop­ing to play a tour­ing in­ter­na­tional team later on in the year.

“We prob­a­bly won’t find out un­til about May or June, but it would just be a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

The main aim for the crick­eter at the mo­ment is to win his lo­cal club premier­ship with the Western Sub­urbs club in Townsville, be­fore “do­ing it all again next year.”

BIG HON­OUR: Monto's Tony Hamp­son was named cap­tain of the Aus­tralian coun­try cricket team after cap­tain­ing the Queens­land Brah­mans to vic­tory in the Aus­tralian Coun­try Cham­pi­onships ear­lier this month.

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