Abu Dhabi: If you are carrying the McDermott surname in Australian cricket, you are bound to draw attention.
The current Australia U-19 World Cup squad features a young, aspiring lad — Ben McDermott — son of the renowned Australian fast bowler and current Test bowling coach Craig McDermott. McDermott Jr has a few of his father’s traits up his sleeve: his strength is keeping wickets and batting. The burden of carrying the bowling legacy, hence, doesn’t bother him.
“It’s a bit tough to play after my father. He was a bowler and I’m a batsman-keeper. We are a bit different in a way, I suppose. But it’s nice to be here and play cricket for Australia,” said Ben, who scored a fine 45 playing at the crucial No 4 position for Australia in the opener against Namibia.
“It was good to get some runs first up, put bat to ball and get strike as much as possible. We’ve been together for a year now and have been looking forward to this moment and want to make it count,” said Ben, who made it to the squad after his tremendous run with the bat in 2013.
“Last season was a memorable one as I played in the Queensland competition and scored two hundreds just before Christmas. I have already had three tours with the Australia U-19. We also had the national championship and I did well there where all states come together,” revealed Ben.
He made headlines in the Big Bash league for Brisbane Heat when he showed nerves of steel to score an important 30 off 26 balls in his side’s winning cause against Adelaide Striker after a Shaun Tait thunderbolt bolt smashed his helmet.
“It was awesome making by debut in the Big Bash league and was a very good experience,” Ben said.
Ben’s older brother Alister is also a rising star in Australian cricket and is a paceman like his father.
“You can say my older brother is very much like my father. He is a fast bowler and so they have lots in common. He was also part of the U-19 World Cup winning team that beat Pakistan in 2010,” Ben said.
He admitted that he also tried his hand at bowling in his early days but chose to keep wickets and focus on batting.
“As a junior, I tried everything; bowling, keeping and batting. Wicket-keeping came pretty natural for me and I have pretty good hands. I also love batting,” said Ben, adding that, his father takes a lot of interest in his performances and always has a tip or two for him.
“He (Craig) gives me a lot of advice and watches me play as much as he can. With him as a bowler, he gives me tips on ways of not getting out and I work from that,” says Ben.
The youngster is well aware that the U-19 World Cup is the perfect stage to make his presence felt and was keen to make the most of the experience.
“This is a stage that every cricketer looks for as the next step towards being an international cricketer. It is a pretty good platform for all of us to get into the national team. All are keen to do well.”