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Old August 22, 2008, 10:56 PM
brockley brockley is offline
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All-rounder Moises Henriques aims to come to the fore for NSW this season, writes Jamie Pandaram.

Crunch time … after 'stalling' in the past two seasons, Henriques is out to repay selectors' faith.
Photo: Tim Clayton

It wasn't that the other children didn't like cricket, it was just that they didn't love it like Moises Henriques.

When Henriques recalls the moment he knew he was destined to be a cricketer, he describes a nine-year-old who spent every afternoon hitting a tennis ball against the wall in his back yard, until it was too dark to see.

"I thought everyone did that until I went to a club game and told my other teammates, and they looked at me like I was a weirdo, thinking to themselves, 'You like it a bit too much,"' Henriques said.

When his parents split, the young Henriques decided to live with his father, who had to work extra long hours. So Henriques was largely left to his own devices - namely a cricket bat and tennis ball.

He'd watch games on television then head to the back yard, where he would emulate the strokes of Mark and Steve Waugh and Michael Slater for hours. "To be honest, that is probably why I dominated at junior levels - I was always a level above," the 21-year-old said. But in the past two seasons, Henriques has experienced what he believes is a stall; the progression hasn't gone as planned. The NSW all-rounder, a genuine star in the making, has been honest with himself about what is required in the coming year.

"It is about time I start repaying the faith that has been shown in me by the NSW selectors. I have to do it this year," he said. "It is obviously a big year for me. I have been part of the NSW squad for a few years now and they have put faith in me to do well.

"I want to continue on from where I finished off last year and just try to break into the NSW team for the first few games and contribute."

Henriques issued that statement last week before he left for Darwin, where he is skippering the Australian Institute of Sport side in warm-up matches for the visiting Bangladesh one-day team.

On cue, he delivered an astonishing return in the first game against the international opponents on Monday, scoring 69 not out off 41 balls in a total of 4-330 then claiming 3-48 off 10 overs to lead the side to a 14-run win.

Henriques is tipped as the man to watch on the domestic scene this summer. NSW coach Matthew Mott has revealed he may play Henriques alongside fellow all-rounder Grant Lambert. "Moises has established himself as a genuine all-rounder when a few of us thought he might be a batting all-rounder - his pace is up," Mott said.

"But he picks himself at both disciplines, which is a massive advantage to the side. You know if you lose five or six wickets you're still a good chance of posting a decent score, while he could even slot in as the third seamer in the side. There are a lot of positions up for grabs, and he certainly will be pushing for one."

Henriques credits his resurgence with an MVP display in last season's grade finals, when he led St George to the championship. He scored 113 off 130 balls against Gordon in the final and took three wickets, after scoring 140 not out, in the semi against Easts.

"I think, mentally, I got to the stage in grade where I scored a fair few 70s and 80s and it was about time I stood up and put in some match-winning performances," he said. "I think it has a lot to do with maturity, experience and the discipline to go about it."

And a whole lot of love.
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Old August 24, 2008, 10:51 PM
brockley brockley is offline
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25 August, 2008
COE Diary: AIS on top in Darwin

©Getty Images / Cricket AustraliaThe last few weeks in Brisbane have been quite frustrating for me. I’ve been recovering from a hamstring tear and am just about right to go in game 4 against Bangladesh on Monday. While all I’ve wanted to do was play cricket with my mates, the time off hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been in the excellent hands of our support staff, Aaron Kellet and Kevin (Kenny) Sims and I’ve been treated to some excellent viewing care of my team mates up here in Darwin.

And to be quite honest, it’s not the worst place in the world to be doing some recovery. Mix in my hamstring recovery with the boys having a daily tan-off in the 35 degree heat, throw in the 60 meter individual medley in our hotel pool (Doropoulos representing Greece won gold with 48.3 seconds and just pipped Henriques representing Portugal with 49.6 seconds) and the seemingly endless amount of female tourists, you can understand how the boys are having a great deal of fun. Oh yeah, incase you didn’t know, we are actually up here to play cricket.

The tour involves a four 1-day game series against Bangladesh and a final game against the Australian cricket team on Thursday. We have an unassailable 2-1 lead in the Buchi-Babu series as the boys have coined it but what’s been more impressive is our display on the field and to some degree, off. The boys have been brilliant. Foz (Pete Forrest, or as he’s known by some hotel locals as Pete Foster and the local newspaper Pete Forrester) sparkled early on and many congrats have to go to him for his recent selection in the Australia A side’s tour of India. He’s been great all pre-season and he’s a ripper bloke. We can only hope he goes well despite his Bert Newton hairdo and the fact he’s constantly sticking up for Ben Cutting when I give him a hard time.

Wadey (Matt Wade) smashed, according to the paper, a Gilchrist like 50 off 30 balls, Moey (Moises Henriques) made a brilliant 84 today, Uzi (Usman) got close to the first century of the tour with 94 in game 3 and our bowlers have been just as good. Sully (Grant) set a magic tone today with his line and length and wasn’t accurately represented by his figures and Dutchy (Jon Holland) has made a great comeback from shoulder surgery and is bowling well. Just ask him. And if he doesn’t tell you how well he’s going, Wadey will. Oh and surprise surprise, Steve O’Keefe is in love again. Shock me. All in all, the performances have been pretty bloody good.

Last time I wrote about how it is only a matter of time before a bowler is hit by a bowler killer. This proved true in our 3rd game when Grant Sullivan was bowling. The Bangladeshi batsman charged Sully and flat batted a ball straight back at him which struck Sully in the shoulder. Whilst there was no immediate damage, there easily could have been. As it is, the batsman is 20 meters from the bowler. By the time he charges 2 meters and the bowler completes his follow through, assuming his follow through is not as short as Brett Geeves, we’re only talking a matter of 10-15 meters. Luckily for Sull, it would have been an incredible shot to hit him in the head (Sully has a pin head) but again, one day, someone will wear one.

The only disappointing thing to come out of the tour so far has been a touch of underperforming but it’s not in the cricket department. I will name names. Ben Cutting, Grant Sullivan and Michael Hill. These 3 blokes, especially Sully (our own self proclaimed Rex Hunt) were woeful on our chartered fishing tour, they failed to reel in anything! Their underperforming on the trip was duly noted. Sully has now been nicknamed “bait waster”, while nothing more was expected from Cuttsy (there was no trance music for him to get him in the groove) and we were just glad Hilly had found an activity that would take his attention and shut him up for 3 hours. He’s like a baby with a rattle. Fozza just won the fishing trip reeling in 2 fish in the double points round which was excellently commentated by everyone’s Ray Warren impersonations.

I’m really excited to play cricket on Monday. Although it has been good watching my mates play really well, as an injured bloke, you still feel bad when the boys are slugging it out in the heat on the field and all you can do is watch. It will be great to finally get back on the field and contribute. I have been able to spend a bit of time picking the brains of guys like Damien Fleming who has a wealth of knowledge and John Davison who is cooler than the other side of the pillow. We’ve realized though that tanning is hard work. As Stewie Griffin says, “It’s not a skin colour, it’s a lifestyle”. This statement is most accurately represented by Moey’s attire and the fact that he has developed a “tanned walk”.

The last thing I have to comment on again is the competitive nature of our team. A leisurely game of soccer in the park turned into a battle for the Sheepstation Cup. The pool handstand competition also became a points earner for said cup as did the 60m IM. What starts as a cheerful relaxing afternoon becomes a fierce battle when there’s a title to be won. It’s standard practice in a group of young athletes and last I checked, Uzi was just ahead with Wadey a close 2nd. Wadey did take out the title for most amount of whinging during our soccer game though with Steve O’Keefe easily taking out the furry cup for the tour.

With one week left in our Darwin tour, the boys are looking to close out the series against Bangladesh with a win to take the Buchi-Babu trophy (a trophy which we’ll construct ourselves tomorrow) and then compete well against the Aussies. We can’t say we’ll beat them and even if we do, I mean, who cares? We won’t get any points towards the Sheepstation cup will we? Oh, and before I go, can I just issue a chin up to all the Brisbane Lions supporters out there on behalf of my beloved Blues and our supporters. An amazing game of footy with the correct result one would feel. And it’s goodnight from me!

Till next time.....

Theo Doropoulos will be keeping a weekly diary during the twenty week program at the Centre of Excellence
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Old August 25, 2008, 10:16 PM
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Sauron Sauron is offline
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al Furqaan & Beamer, thanks for the WB. I'm always visting, but rarely get a chance to actually log in and post.

the best, I probably came off a little harsher than I intended.

As we saw yesterday, our bowling line-up with people like Nazu and Dollar is really not up to the mark. This is something most of us already know. But given the bouncy aussie picthes, BD took a bunch of pacers. These practice matches will help separate the curd from the crap in context of playing conditions.

Without Rasel, we are short-handed badly. So Mash and Shahadat needs to really adapt to the conditions. These practice matches will help them do just that (provided they learn).

Just to re-emphasize - some people were screaming that while our batting is improving (~300 in three consecutive matches), our bowling is degrading. After the 4th ODI performance, obviously our bare butts are shining again. Now that batting and bowling both are looking bad, don't you miss the batting performance from the first three ODI's?
Of old there was Sauron the Maia...
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Old August 26, 2008, 12:50 AM
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Dhakablues Dhakablues is offline
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If the discussion is about how better Siddons is compared to Dav Watmore.. lets talk after Bangladesh beats Australia/Sri Lanka/India/South Africa again.. until that happens.. dont bother comparing. Every coach is different, some are effective some are not.. Coach like Chappell didnt succeed in India versus Sandip Patel inspired Kenya once upon a time..Woolmer failed but Muddssar gave a winning Pakistan.. Whether Siddons can coach our players the same techniques of Hayden/Pointing... we will find out within a year. Right now, I still see Bangladesh team having same batting issues..The stats would speak for themselves soon whether he changed anything or not...But lets not compare Watmore with Siddons..its comparing apple with HP
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