Emerging New South Wales wicketkeeper Lewin Maladay wasn’t sure if he would get the opportunity to represent his country at Under 19 level.
But now he has it, he’s determined to make the most of it.
The 19-year-old, who was named in the Team of the Championships at this year’s Under-19s carnival, is the oldest member of Australia’s squad for the upcoming six-match series against Sri Lanka, which kicks off in Hobart on Saturday with a three-day match at Kingston's Twin Ovals.
Maladay is the only member of the squad who will be too old to be selected for next year’s ICC Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand, but he's nonetheless keen to impress.
“It’s obviously a very exciting opportunity,” Maladay said ahead of the series, which also features five 50-over matches.
“(With) me being in my last year of '19s, I wasn’t sure whether I’d get the opportunity.
“With the World Cup next year they’ve picked a very young squad, so I’m very honoured to be a part of the squad and I look forward to being able to showcase my skills and be able to be a leader within the group.”
Maladay, who starred for runners-up ACT/NSW Country at the Under 19 National Championships in December, is set to don the gloves in the series-opener.
A damaging right-hand batsman to complement his work behind the stumps, Maladay plies his trade for Sydney grade club University of NSW, and averaged more than 40 with the bat at the Under 19 Championships.
He’s now joined up with his new teammates in Hobart, who climbed to the top of Mount Wellington on Tuesday in a bid to gel ahead of the Sri Lanka series.
“Personally I don’t know too many (other players)," Maladay admitted. "Me being 19 and the oldest in the group, most of the other boys are 17 or 18 and have played together in the CA XI Under 19 side at the nationals just gone.
“But there’s eight New South Welshmen in this Australian Under 19s side so I know a fair few of them.
“Obviously it’s a very talented side. We should fare well against Sri Lanka.
“They’ve just played a Tasmanian XI side (in a three-day warm-up game) and I’ve got a few mates in that side, so I’ve got a few little inside tips from them.
"We’ll take them into the game and see if they work.”
All six matches of the Australia-Sri Lanka U19 series will be live streamed on cricket.com.au.