Summers' arrival heats up Harris

A new fast-bowling prodigy taking Top End cricket by storm has made a big impression on former Test quick Ryan Harris

Nick Duxson

3 July 2017, 07:21 PM AEST

A new strike weapon might have been discovered in the inaugural edition of the NT Strike League.

Fast bowler Aaron Summers was flown into the Bupa National Cricket Centre late last week to strut his stuff in front of former Australia fast bowler Ryan Harris after impressing in the inaugural edition of the Northern Territory's new competition.

And it's fair to say former Test star Harris, now a high performance coach at the NCC, was impressed by what he saw.

"I hadn't heard anything about him," Harris admitted of the 21-year-old.

"Mark Sorell is the high performance manager in the Northern Territory – I've known him for a long time – and he basically rang me and said they've got this kid up there who bowls quite fast.

"When you get someone who rings you and tells you that, someone with a bit of pace, your ears prick up."

Harris duly checked out some footage and next thing Summers knew he was being flown to Brisbane to meet the 27-Test fast bowling star and National Performance Program head coach Troy Cooley.

"It was a little bit rushed, but it was good to get him down and see him bowl in the flesh," said Harris.

"I was pretty impressed to be honest."

After two days of intense scrutiny, Summers went back to Darwin and was immediately involved in a match on Saturday.

In the Sunshine State's capital he had given the speed gun – and the National Performance Squad batters – a good workout.

"Mark was right, he has got some pace, he gets them through quite fast," Harris said.

"His top speed was 142-143(kph). He was in the high 130s – 138, 139 – quite regularly.

"Very impressed with him, and he rushed a few blokes in the nets which is always good to see as an old-school bowler."

Summers had come through Western Australia's Pathways system, playing at the under-17 and under-19 level, and now represents Darwin CC, following his successful stint with the NT Strike League champions, City Cyclones.

In seven matches of the 50-over competition, he took eight wickets, and in six A Grade matches in Darwin so far he has six wickets at 17.83.

Among the players in action during the Strike League were Western Australia's D'Arcy Short, Will Bosisto and Kyle Gardiner, plus South Australia's Jake Lehmann, Alex Ross and Jake Weatherald plus Tasmania's Ryan Lees.

Harris said having the opportunity for a closer look at talents like Summers was an important part of CA's pace bowling specialist skills program.

"It doesn't matter where you are in the country," Harris said.

"We rely on our State Talent Managers and our High Performance managers like Mark (Sorell), to be able to call me or call Troy (Cooley) and say 'we might have one here that we'd like you to have a look at'," Harris said.

"After we get a name, we do a bit of research and chase up what we see.

"Obviously if we like what we see or get good reports from people we're happy to get them in to mix in with our National Performance Squad and have a bowl and have a look."

Harris was left in little doubt the latest pace bowling talent to be uncovered was a name to remember. For now though, it's watch this space…