BOMADERRY product Kealen Blattner has been rewarded for his strong play at his maiden National Indigenous Cricket Championships by being named in the prestigious Australian team.
Blattner, who played alongside his brother Zac and Shoalhaven Ex-Serviciemens’ Brandon Booth in the South Australian side, led the whole competition with 12 wickets, at an average of 8.92.
Despite his South Australian team, coached by former Ex-Servos player Darren Beckett, winning two of their six matches in Alice Springs, the former Bomaderry High School student thoroughly enjoyed his first Imparja Cup.
“We started off the tournament with a convincing win over Northern Territory but unfortunately we couldn’t carry that through the remainder of the week,” Blattner said.
“Having a few young lads in the team is a good sign for South Australia, as they all held their own and played key roles.
“Overall, it was a great experience at Alice Springs getting to represent my family and doing them proud is always special.”
Despite Blattner’s side playing one less games than most of his rivals, he still ended up one wicket ahead of NSW duo Ben Patterson and Brock Larance.
“It was great to lead the wicket takers list, considering the standard of cricket,” he said.
“The thing that helped me the most was being able to bowl with variation – the T20 format is always a different challenge and I really enjoy bowling in them.”
On Sunday evening, at the tournament’s special gala dinner, Blattner received his award bowling award while also being named into his first ever Black Caps (Australian Indigenous) team.
“It’s a massive honour to get recognition and be selected in the Black Caps squad, which is the team of the carnival,” he said.
“This is easily the top achievement of my career.
“To have a successful carnival was a big achievement and then to make the Black Caps was even better – I wasn’t expecting to make it given I was a late inclusion to the South Australian squad but bowling well [in the tournament] really helped me.”
Joining Blattner, 18, in the Black Caps team is South Australian team mate Zac Chapman as well as NSW’s Marty Jeffrey, Tyran Liddiard, Pat Rosser and Brynley Richards, Queensland’s Samuel Doggett and Brad Stout, Western Australia’s Joshua Bailey, Victoria’s Nicholas Boland, Tasmania’s Callan Morse and Northern Territory’s Brandon King.
During the tournament, Kealen’s brother Zac scored 97 runs, at an average of 16.17, while Booth recorded 91, at an average of 22.75.