A friend from India regularly sends me an email with his thoughts on various bits and pieces, usually to do with the game of cricket.
Having received one of his thought provoking messages yesterday, I noticed this short caption at the end of his email. It read, "I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."
While man's failures is a little harsh, there is certainly a sense that a lot of what we read in the newspaper is weighted towards a bad news story rather than a good one.
Today though I would like to buck that trend and write a story which is all good.
At 9.30 this morning Rob Quiney will receive a baggy green cap. At the mature age of 30, he is literally living the dream.
Technically sound and a good solid performer in Shield cricket there is a more enduring feature about the Victorian left hander that makes his story so inspiring.
Ever since he started churning out regular runs for Victoria, I have kept a close eye on his progress. As the flow of runs increased, the obvious questions started to emerge: Is he any good? Where does he score all of his runs? Can he play the short ball?
Following this obvious line of questioning comes the next, and often most important level of interrogation. 'Is he a good bloke? Is he ok around the team? Does he work hard?
What became instantly apparent was that every single person I talked to said the same thing. In a nutshell the common response was, 'yes he is a good player, but what a bloke. He's the consummate teammate, the ultimate team man, the hardest worker, an incredible professional.' The list went on and on and on.
There is an old saying that you should pick character over cover drives. John Inverarity and his selection panel have shown a clear intent over the last twelve months to select hard working young men who are known not only for their talent but also for their integrity, discipline, hunger and selfless attitude towards the team.
In these categories, Rob Quiney ticks every box.
Not only does he play well off the back foot with a compact technique, but he is admired and respected by all of his team mates. In the last week he has shown through his actions why he is such a popular addition to this Australian Test team.
All week he has worked hard with a smile on his face. He has run around like an energiser battery and he has contributed to the team environment before he has faced a single ball in Test cricket.
This morning his energy might be tested when he walks out to bat against Steyn, Morkel and Philander. There is no greater test in international cricket than batting against this South African pace attack.
The first morning at the GABBA is always testing.
With an even layer of green grass running down the surface there is sure to be some early fireworks here in Brisbane, but the three young left handers, Cowan, Warner and Quiney, are ready for a fight.
The Australian team's preparation has been world class and I can't remember seeing the boys hitting so many balls in the lead up to a series. From veterans Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey down to debutante Rob Quiney and his young Victorian team mate Matthew Wade, the players have left no stone unturned.
Michael Clarke's example has once again been exemplary and you can tell by the way he has prepared that he is hungry to take the team back to the number ranking over the next three weeks.
Respect will be paid to Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and the South African team but there will be no love lost when the players cross that white line.
Mickey Arthur's insight into the team he once coached has been interesting but all the planning in the world counts for nothing if all eleven players don't execute their skills and control their adrenaline when this much sought after contest fires up this morning.
Rob Quiney's cap presentation today will be one of the highlights of my year. Seeing a young Australian who would probably die for a chance to live this dream will be a joy to watch. A bigger thrill would be to see him live his wildest dream with a memorable debut innings.
The excitement has been building for some time for today to get under way. The national anthem, the smell of the grass, the roar of the crowd; Test match cricket is back for another summer and Australia versus South Africa should be a beauty.