Jarrod McKay, 17, earned his Central District A debut earlier this month. Photo: Andrew Board.

McKay, 17, earns CD ‘A’ call up

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Seventeen-year-old schoolboy Jarrod McKay has made his Central Districts A debut, a feat his coach believes may make him the youngest to do so.

Jarrod, a fast-medium bowler, made his debut earlier this month against Canterbury Country, taking three wickets across two innings.

Nelson College cricket coach Garry MacDonald says the selection may make Jarrod the youngest Nelsonian to have ever made the side, which is one step below first-class cricket.

“I’ve asked around and I don’t think anyone from Nelson has done it this young, so he’s created a little bit of history there.”

Jarrod’s rapid rise is even more remarkable considering he only played his first games for his club side Nelson College over the past week.

A side-strain and selection to the Nelson Griffins rep side and Central Districts under 19 made him unavailable for most of the season.”

He says the selection to CD A has been a “huge highlight” but he hopes it’s just the beginning.

“I’d like to try and crack the Stags in a couple of years and play a fair few games for the Stags. The ultimate dream is to play for New Zealand, with that fern on your chest, but I just want to see how high I can get to and go from there.”

Jarrod, who bowls around 130km/h, was first introduced to the game by his father Doug in their backyard and still spends many hours playing against his brother.

“It was always fun and I always enjoyed it, but when I got to year 10 I made the first XI and I started to take it seriously.”

Originally a batsman, Jarrod was challenged as a 12-year-old by some teammates to see who could bowl the fastest – when he won the challenge he was told he’d better start bowling more.

Garry has been working with Jarrod for three years and says it was obvious he had talent, even back then.

“You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the talent in him, when I first saw Jarrod I said he’s going to play first class cricket, it’s just a matter of getting him strong, so we’ve worked on a bit of technique stuff, mainly his run-up.

“He’s a lovely guy and he’s big, strong and fast now and still at school. He has a big future.”