Young opener is showing heaps of promise
Jared Challis needed only one year at Mt Albert Grammar School to prove himself as a cricketer.
He switched from Kelston Boys High School at the start of 2014 as a year 13 student with one goal in mind – to further his cricketing prowess.
Challis’ craft as an opening batsmen was too good to ignore – turning up for the MAGS first XI trials he smashed 63 runs.
‘‘It just gelled,’’ the 18-year-old says of his short stint at MAGS.
‘‘I already knew a few of the players from cricket. My brother [Ethan, 16] moved over as well.’’
Challis has also captained the side and never breaks his tradition.
‘‘If we win the coin toss I always pick to bat first.’’
Since winding down at school with a top score of 105 (Kelston v King’s College 2013) in the two-dayers, Challis’ career has taken off.
His consistency has earned him a spot in the Developing Future Auckland Aces this summer.
And he was quick to impress, scoring back-toback centuries in November against a touring British Army XI (100 off 55 balls) and Northland B (103).
Challis also debuted for the Waitakere premiers, cracking 45 against Kumeu on December 3 in the Auckland Twenty20 competition.
He says the hardest thing about the game are the mental barriers. ‘‘There’s a lot of personal things [in cricket]. That’s what I love, the personal battle, just trying to smash [the bowler].’’
Challis is also pretty handy with the ball. He used to bowl seamers but has honed his skills to off-spin due to a minor back injury.
His best bowling figures are 6-32 which he achieved playing for the Waitakere under-16s two years ago.
Now that his school days are over, Challis has flung himself into cricket with seven training sessions and two games a week.
‘‘I do watch a lot of cricket on TV and I like seeing where the field settings are. It gives me ideas of what could be a good game plan when we are bowling.’’
Crease maker: Jared Challis.