Nelson spinner Felix Murray appears to be on the fast track to domestic cricket success. Photo Shuttersport

Felix on fast track to CD call up

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Felix Murray has had a whirlwind last 10 days.

The talented 18-year-old spinner made the Central Districts squad for the one-day domestic semi-final against Wellington; he’s preparing to play an integral part in Nelson’s first Hawke Cup challenge in five years, this weekend against holders Bay of Plenty; and he is shifting to Palmerston North to study accounting at Massey University.

While Felix didn’t get a debut for the Stags, making the 13-man squad for a semi-final clash is a sure sign it won’t be far away.

The call from the Stags came as a shock to the New Zealand Under-19 respresentative, who had been solely focused on the must-win Hawke Cup elimination match against Canterbury Country, which he helped Nelson win.

“I didn’t think I was in the running for that call,” Felix says. “Usually for must-win games, the squads are pretty settled.

“Just the chance to get around the guys and see how they approached the game at that level and how they trained, it was a real eye-opener.”

Felix has also had veteran Stags’ spinner Marty Kain to work alongside during the Hawke Cup campaign and the duo formed a vital partnership in the quest for wickets against Canterbury Country.

“Marty has the experience, but the [Saxton Oval] pitch is pretty flat and doesn’t take a lot of turn, so you have to be patient.”

Felix says he has been trying to counter the batsmen-friendly conditions by trying to adjust his speeds.

“If there’s not much turn, then, by changing my speeds, I’m hoping I can be a wicket-taker by beating [the batsmen] in flight.”

Felix was just 13 the last time Nelson challenged for the Hawke Cup.

He says he knows how important the opportunity was and stressed the team would have to be patient.

“They are a good team and I’d expect they will look to bat first and put a lot of pressure on us and try to turn it into a run-fest, because they only need a draw.

“We just need to believe in ourselves and stick at it and the opportunities to win will come.”

The three-day Hawke Cup match in the Bay of Plenty begins on Friday. Nelson need to force a positive result if they are to win Hawke Cup for the first time since the 1997/98 season.