My Premier Cricket Debut - Langer and Carseldine

10 July, 2015

Langer and Lillee

I remember my Premier Cricket debut very well.

My current wife and childhood sweetheart used to turn up to games in a mini skirt and bikini, so I'm convinced the old blokes had a say in my selection for Scarborough!

I was really proud but it was also a little but embarrassing when my entire family turned up and set-up camp on the grass bank at Subiaco Floreat Oval.

On the morning of the game I was on the front page of the Sunday Times newspaper with my absolute hero - Dennis Lillee. I was kneeling down with my arm around Dennis, who was making his comeback for the club. It was a massive thrill for the Langer family.

I made the mistake of pulling in a County cricket bat for the photo, which ruffled some feathers when I discovered that Dennis had another bat sponsor. He wasn't happy and told me to be more careful in the future. That was my first lesson in professionalism.

The game started when Dennis charged in to Kim Hughes, another childhood idol of mine. Dennis had him plumb LBW for 0 but the umpire's finger didn't go up, and my god, it was on for young and old after that!

Kim Hughes went on to make a century and was smacking them all over the park. Dennis and Kim abused and sledged each other all day, and as I was watched on as a 15-year-old kid I said to myself, 'If this is what it's all about, I'm in!'

It was one of the greatest contests I ever saw.

As I came to the crease the following day I looked behind me to see Kim Hughes in first slip and Tommy Hogan at second, before facing up to Terry Alderman.

I batted for about 40 minutes for three runs, before Tommy Hogan got me out at bat pad.

They looked after me at Scarborough and I was there until my last game at 39 years old. It's a great club that served me great memories from the very start.

There's no doubt to me that Premier Cricket is the foundation of the game in this country and if we're serious about it, it's important we start respecting club cricket again. We have to strengthen those ties. I make an effort to get down every week and I'm always pumped to get amongst it.

Whether it's in the coaching or playing ranks, the more mentors we have around can only be positive for the development of the game.

Border out, Carseldine in

When you get called up as a kid to play against men, you've got to be nervous.

I received my debut Valley CC first-grade call-up when I was 17, only to be dropped for a player by the name of Allan Border. I was in the first week and he was in the second week, after he returned from Australian duties.

Valley had an amazing side in that day, featuring Stuart law, Matthew Hayden and Brett Henschell. As a kid, I was made to feel welcome by all those guys.

We were playing University, whose star-studded lineup included Geoff Foley, Paul Jackson, Martin Love, Wade Seccombe and Michael Kasprowicz.

Regardless of whether you go well or not, it's always a special occasion making your debut, but this one was made extra special by what was about to unfold.

We won the toss, batted and fell to 3/18. I came in at five and joined one of my idols at the crease - Matthew Hayden.

The first goal was to get off the mark, which I did. Then it was to get to 10, which I did. Before I knew it we were 3/360 at stumps, Haydos had put on 150 and I finished my debut unbeaten on 160.

I thought to myself, 'This is easy. I wonder what all the fuss is about?', only to come back down to earth the following week when I dropped to second grade, making way for Allan Border.

It was quite the magical debut.

© Australian Cricket Players Limited
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
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