Nottinghamshire Academy player Tom Keast believes that his experience Down Under will help him become a more rounded cricketer and person.
The 19-year-old wicketkeeper and right-handed batsman, from Market Rasen, flew out to Sydney to play grade cricket and discovered a vital lesson about hard graft paying off.
“I’m so grateful to have been to Australia because it gives you a whole new perspective, not just on the cricket, but on your lifestyle as a whole,” he said. “The first week or so I met (fellow Academy player) Chris Gibson a couple of times and we went to see the sights of Sydney – all the touristy things.
“But once October and November came around it was time to get down to work.
“I’m so grateful to have done it because it gives you a whole new perspective, not just on the cricket, but just on your lifestyle as a whole.”
Keast’s adventure was far from just fun in the sun, the teenager made to put in the hours for the experience.
“Over there I was up at 5.30am, got the bus, worked until 4pm in the afternoon, then got the bus home and then went to cricket after that,” he said.
“I did all sorts of stuff for work while I was out there… a bit of grass cutting, a bit of labouring, I helped build a house and a car port. It was completely different to what I am used to.
“Cricket-wise, there would be no special programme and training every day or working specifically on fitness like at Notts.
“So whatever you did, you had to find the time to do yourself.
“It was quite refreshing in many ways to get out of the system and have to do your own thing and, coming back, I hope I have improved. It was definitely good for my self-discipline.
“I did all sorts of stuff for work while I was out there… a bit of grass cutting, a bit of labouring, I helped build a house and a car port.”
Keast played his cricket for Blacktown, largely in the second grade, with 812 runs in 23 matches at a respectable average of 31.30, including a top score of 82 in his final match against Gordon.