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
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.