Young keeper makes the grades

BRANDON Crosbie is one of the rising players in the Westfields Sports High School program — and at 14 is already playing grade cricket.

Brandon debuted with Blacktown Cricket Club this season in fifth grade and has made a quick rise to fourths.

The left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper said he was happy with his progress. He will take his time learning as much as he can.

Brandon is batting at No.7 in the lower grades and has a top score of 55.

The teenager said he was surprised to being playing grade cricket at age 14.

‘‘I have always wanted to play grade but I thought it would be when I was 15 or 16,’’ Brandon said.

‘‘My goal is to one day play first grade. That has always been an ambition of mine.’’

When the new school term starts next week, Brandon will be in year 9 at Westfields. His cricket program coach Ian Gill said the teenager will be part of the first XI this season.

‘‘Brandon is a level-headed young man with plenty of talent and most importantly his feet are firmly on the ground,’’ Ian Gill said.

‘‘We haven’t rushed Brandon through the cricket program since he came to the school in 2011 in year 7.

‘‘We have let him develop along the way and he is progressing well.’’

Brandon started playing cricket aged eight in the Blacktown junior association.

He said his mentor and positive influence in his life has been his father Lindsay, who played second grade with Fairfield Liverpool.

Brandon said his mother Sharon has also been a tremendous support, driving him to and from school and training.

‘‘Dad was a wicketkeeper and he has taught he plenty of things about keeping,’’ Brandon said.

‘‘He has taught me about keeping to spinners up at the stumps, how to get down low, and don’t grab for the ball.’’

Brandon is also a member of the Cricket NSW Youth Academy squad.

He said his personal coach away from school, Rohit Ramanathan, is also a guiding light.

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