Nelson cricketers Saffron Wilson and Jarrod McKay have been selected in the New Zealand U22 indoor teams. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Young gun cricketers take on Aussies

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A pair of promising Nelson cricketers will represent their country in an indoor Trans-Tasman series next month.

Jarrod McKay and Saffron Wilson have each been selected in the New Zealand U22 indoor teams to do battle with Australia.

For Jarrod, it will be the first time playing for his country.

“It will be my first international game so I’m really looking forward to it,” he says. “It’s every kid’s dream to wear the silver fern.”

After just two competitive seasons, he has enjoyed a rapid rise in the indoor game.

Jarrod caught the eyes of national selectors at senior provincials in Palmerston North, playing for Southern Districts.

Despite his side finishing fourth, the 19-year-old bowled well enough to secure selection.

“I was quite tight and managed to pick up a few wickets.”

Jarrod is currently in just his second serious season of indoor, although he did play one year back when he was 15.

Primarily a bowler, Jarrod says he has had to adopt a more all-round game for indoor.

He says he is yet to commit to either the indoor or outdoor code.

“I just started playing indoor for the enjoyment factor, I never expected to play for New Zealand.”

Fellow Nelson indoor cricketer Saffron is hoping for some revenge against their rivals from across the ditch.

Her preparations for the series have been hampered following the fire at the Action indoor Sports Centre in Nelson.

The fire meant training at Saxton Stadium instead, where the nets are tighter and the court shorter.

However, the less than ideal training conditions haven’t halted her progress as she has again been named in the women’s side.

It will be the 17-year-old’s second stint with the national side after she travelled to Dubai for the under-22 women’s Indoor Cricket World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2017.

Saffron has been a regular fixture in the Nelson women’s side and recently began playing against the men with Wakatu.

The all-rounder says she is determined to get one back over Australia after the Aussies thrashed New Zealand across all four grades last time they met.

“We have got the side to do it,” she says.

The Nelson College for Girls student has been turning heads on the pitch in both formats, having topped the scoring charts at this year’s national U18 T20 tournament. Playing for Central Districts, Saffron scored 180 in four innings with two half-centuries.