Kent to play for Australia

ALBURY’S Mathew Kent has been selected in the Australian blind cricket team.

Only 12 months after taking up the sport, the all-rounder will play five Twenty20 matches in India and Sri Lanka with a 16-member national touring party next month.

Kent won a spot in the side after turning in some strong performances for the ACT at the recent Australian championships in Adelaide.

“It was a bit of a surprise to make the team,” Kent, 24, said yesterday.

“I played Milo cricket as a kid, but only really got back into it last March through (blind cricket international) Daniel Searle.

“I never thought I would be doing anything like this.”

The tour will be used to select the 40-over World Cup team to play in South Africa in November.

Kent opened the batting and bowling for ACT with fellow Albury-Wodonga players Searle, Josh and Brendan Campbell and Michael Hamilton also in the side.

The Henty Football Club team manager first noticed problems with his eyes at 16, while playing water polo at Taree and now has only 5 per cent vision.

“It just came out of the blue,” he said.

“My vision could stay the same for the rest of my life or I could lose it completely.

“I had my driver’s licence when I was first diagnosed so it was a pretty big shock.”

All bowling is underarm in blind cricket and the audible ball must bounce at least twice before reaching the batter.

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