From Richmond Tiger to Western Warrior to Hampshire scholar, Ashton Agar is a young star on the rise.
Throw in U19 selection, a tour to India and Australia A selection to the UK, Agar is a star of tomorrow, today.
The tall left-arm orthodox bowler is currently in England fulfilling his duties as one of six AIS Hampshire Scholars. There he will learn his craft playing for Henley Cricket Club to advance his skills in foreign conditions.
To further their development the scholars will be closely linked to the Australia and Australia A set-up, providing invaluable experience around the senior teams.
Agar's selection in Australia's advanced touring party to India earlier in the year was seen as a shock by many, but not State coach Justin Langer.
"...he is an attacking finger spinner who turns and flights the ball, he is undoubtedly an exciting prospect who is gaining valuable experience in the Bupa Sheffield Shield competition..," wrote Langer in his blog for cricket.com.au in early March.
And valuable experience he did gain. Agar played five Bupa Sheffield Shield games for the Warriors, taking 19 wickets and scoring 229 runs - outstanding numbers for a 19-year-old.
At the same age Shane Warne was playing VFL for St Kilda’s U19 team and Stuart MacGill was an AIS Australian Cricket Academy scholar.
Agar showed maturity beyond his years in two thrilling wins for Western Australia. His 71 not out led the Warriors to a two-wicket win over Tasmania to keep their finals hopes alive. To prove it wasn't a fluke, Agar backed it up with a one-wicket win over South Australia, this time making 22 not out off 92 balls.
Before leaving these shores Agar and his fellow scholars spent the last few weeks at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane under the watch of Troy Cooley and Tim Nielson. There they were put through their paces by the coaching staff, strength and conditioning trainers and leadership team to ready them for what lies ahead in England.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 03 May, 2013 10:59AM AEDT