YOUNG GUN: Cameron Kiel, 14, made back-to-back centuries playing for Sunraysia in last week’s Under 15 Junior Country Week in Swan Hill. He is also a regular member of Mildura Settlers’ First Division team. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
EVERY young cricketer dreams of the moment they make their first century. Cameron Kiel matched that and more, scoring his first two tons in consecutive days.
The 14-year-old was a dominant force with the bat for the Sunraysia Cricket Association (SCA) in last week’s Under 15 Junior Country Week.
The opener smashed 109 against the Swan Hill District Cricket Association, before following up with 115 against Central Region.
The dominant wins for Sunraysia ensured victory for the week, despite the third day of cricket being abandoned due to extreme heat.
The youngster has also become a permanent member of Mildura Settlers’ First Division side, playing in the top grade after finishing his Under 16 commitments every Saturday.
Cameron said he wasn’t expecting to make a century, let alone two, but said it was a special feeling to do so for Sunraysia with his parents and brothers watching on.
“I was aiming to make a few runs but I never thought I’d make triple figures,” he said. “I was getting a few starts this season but not following on from there so I wanted to make a few runs.
“Being part of the Country Week team last year was a good experience and gave me a bit of confidence.”
In seven First Division innings, Cameron has made 86 runs, with a high score of 24. He is undoubtedly part of the future of the Settlers’ squad, although he has his sights set on higher honours.
Selection at age 14, however, is testament to the talent of the young man who has only played cricket for a few seasons.
“First Division has been challenging but exciting as well. I’m starting to feel more comfortable,” Cameron said.
“Jason Morrison has been a great mentor out there (in the middle), and at training as well, he’s always on hand to give me some advice.
“Richie Wyld has been great, we opened the batting in the first few games and he really helped me.
“I’ve also been doing a lot of one-on-one coaching with Kaushik Aphale from Nichols Point. I’ve been learning just to keep my head in the game and keep focused.
“Making my first 50 in First Division is my next goal. I’m getting a lot more comfortable but there are some great bowlers out there.”
Aside from experienced heads such as Wyld, Morrison and coach Tarque Williamson, Settlers’ top level side contains a lot of talented youngsters, including Cameron, Keogh brothers Paddy and Seamus, Braidyn Turner and Brak Zambelli amongst others.
Cameron said that having players of similar age made him feel more comfortable, as well as the more experienced hands taking him under their wings.
“We have gotten to know each other over the past few years and I think that’s helped us,” he said.