Bryant a beast no matter what the sport
CRICKET’S newest six-hitting superstar Max Bryant might be able to smash a Kookabbura further than Chris Lynn but he could also kick a rugby league ball out of the Gabba.
Bryant is set to be unveiled by the Brisbane Heat this summer as the youngest of the “Bash Brothers”, but after making Virat Kohli’s Indians chase leather at the SCG this week, the 19-year-old powerhouse has revealed how close he was to signing in the NRL.
Cricket’s ranks are full of emerging talents like Alex Carey and Will Sutherland who were on the verge of playing AFL, but Bryant is rugby league’s “what if” story.
Contracted by the Gold Coast Titans the moment he turned 15, Bryant was rated by the club to be every bit as good as current playmaking prodigy AJ Brimson at the same age.
Titans junior development boss Jamie McCormack once saw a 14-year-old Bryant blast a drop-out 80 metres on the fly on its way to cantering over the dead-ball line and cannoning into a sideboard 110m away.
However, the opportunities available for a kid with such freakish hand-eye coordi- nation in cricket were so strong that in the end even the Titans were telling him to replace his studs with spikes.
“He’s got rugby league in his blood but we sat down with his family and we were all of the same opinion he should pursue cricket,” said McCormack, who likens Bryant’s natural ability to that of Queensland star Kalyn Ponga, who is also a scratch golfer.