Kurri Weston junior Jack Sylvester is taking his rapid rise up the representative cricketing ranks in his stride.
Thankfully the recently turned 15-year-old already has a big stride as a place in the under-15 NSW All-Schools cricket team is likely to be just the start of an exciting cricket future.
Sylvester represented NSW Combined Catholic Colleges at the state carnival and was last week selected for the NSW All-Schools team to play at the eight-day national championships in Brisbane from February 10.
The left-arm fast bowler already stands 185cm (six feet one inch) and by the time he is finished growing is expected to reach 203cm.
To put that in perspective that is an inch taller than current Australian Test bowler Mitchell Stark, but the level-headed Sylvester is not getting ahead of himself with any comparisons.
“It would be great to be as good as someone like Mitchell Stark, but that takes years of hard work and dedication and ensuring you don’t get injured,” he said.
“I was shocked when I got named in the NSW All-Schools team. This is only my third year of cricket, it’s all happening so fast.”
Sylvester attends All Saints College, St Peter’s campus in Maitland, the famous rugby league nursery where the Johns brothers and their Newcastle Knights teammate Mark Hughes went to.
While the school’s rugby league program is still glittering, a hugely talented group of young cricketers is coming through the ranks including Maitland competition first grade players Jacob Page, Cal Gabriel, Rex Greaves and Matt Lynch.
Sylvester, a year nine student, admits he was in awe of his senior teammates after being promoted with year 10 students Lynch and Logan Smith to play for All Saints College’s senior campus St Mary’s.
The sense of awe still surrounds Australian under-17 representative Will Fort, who gave him tremendous support at the NSW Academy for Central North this year.
“He is such an outstanding talent and to be able to play against him in first grade now and train with him at the academy was fantastic,” Sylvester said.
“Some of the boys you come across you just say ‘Wow’ and then you realise you are in the same team or playing against them.
“I got to play against Oliver Davies who is an Australian youth captain and plays Sydney second grade. It was an awesome experience. Great that I got to bowl against the player of his ability, but it wasn’t too good when he hit me all over the place.
Sylvester plays under 16s and is in his first year of first grade for Kurri Weston, lapping up every bit of advice and lesson.
“First grade has really looked after me. They have taken me under their wing, given me an opportunity and plenty of overs,” he said.