Cameron McAuslan can’t wait for the National First XI cricket finals. They are still two terms away, but on a visit to Otago Boys’ High School last week College Sport Media discovered McAuslan’s enthusiasm is palpable.
Otago Boys’ made the finals last year and finished a disappointing fifth. McAuslan, an opening batsman, made “starts but didn’t kick on.” This year Otago has 11 returns and McAuslan is confident of a better performance.
“I think we learned a lot last year. We learned how to react to pressure better and play with more confidence. Sometimes as batsmen we got caught up in technique rather than scoring runs,” he says.
Scoring runs wasn’t a problem for McAuslan last summer. He made his highest score of 156 in the Otago final against Waitaki Boys’ High School. Before that knock he had amassed 115 in senior league cricket for Taieri.
“Tonga Park is my favourite ground to bat on. The pitch is usually batter friendly and once I got through Waitaki’s best bowler Nathan Smith batting wasn’t too difficult,” McAuslan recalls.
McAuslan is one of five Otago players who play senior cricket. He has done so for two years and believes this is of great benefit.
“Playing against men on tough pitches is great preparation for school competition. You learn greater discipline and the value of batting time. Sometimes I miss playing with my mates, but when the senior guys come back to the First XI it adds a lot,” McAuslan explains.
McAuslan has played rep cricket at under-17 and 19 level for Otago as well as representing Hong Kong.
How did that come about?
“I was born in Hong Kong and moved here when I was eight years old. My Dad went back to Hong Kong to work and I played for the Hong Kong under-19’s. It was a great thrill to go to the Bradman museum and bat on his home ground,” McAuslan says.
McAuslan’s sister Jamie has represented Hong Kong in netball. McAuslan’s rates Michael Clarke and Kane Williamson as his favourite cricketers. In the winter he plays Badminton, but he loves talking about summer.
What is his favourite innings for the First XI?
“I was in Year 10 batting at Number 10 against the Willows XI who had an ex Canterbury and Black Caps bowler. We needed about 40 to win when the last wicket fell. I made 27 and my partner and I worked it around a bit and got the win,” McAuslan recalls.
In 2017 McAuslan hopes to study law or finance at Otago University.
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