Six-year-old's dream comes true, 11 years later

Jake Doran, sixteen year old cricketer, who has been selected to play for the Chairmans XI against England. SPORT photo: Marco Del Grande on November 14, 2013

Jake Doran, sixteen year old cricketer, who has been selected to play for the Chairmans XI against England. SPORT photo: Marco Del Grande on November 14, 2013

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 03:  Jake Doran of New South Wales bats during the U19 Championship match between New South Wales and Northern Territory at Kingston Twin Ovals on December 3, 2013 in Hobart, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images) Jake Doran. Under-19s NSW. Picture: Getty Images

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 03: Jake Doran of New South Wales bats during the U19 Championship match between New South Wales and Northern Territory at Kingston Twin Ovals on December 3, 2013 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images) Jake Doran. Under-19s NSW. Picture: Getty Images

NOT many 17-year-olds would sacrifice a century for their country in favour of team success.

Then again Lalor Park's Jake Doran is not your normal teenager.

Doran, who last week was awarded a rookie contract with NSW, was on the verge of his maiden century in the green-and-gold at the under-19s World Cup earlier this year. With one over to go and a quarter-finals spot on the line, the left-hander gave the green light to partner Tom Andrews to swing the willow.

The end result was Australia won the game and Doran was left stranded on 99 not out. He wouldn't have had it any other way.

"I didn't see it as I missed out on a century: I saw it us getting an extra 20 runs and us winning the game," he said.

"That could've been the difference between a win and a loss so I was happy to put the team first."

It is that mature head combined with his freakish ability with both bat and gloves that has many good judges — including former Test captain Greg Chappell — predicting big things for the wicketkeeper-batsman.

It's little surprise his cricket CV is full of highlights, such as:

■He is the youngest player ever to represent the NSW second XI;

■He is also the second-youngest player in Sydney Cricket Association history to play first grade; and

■A regular member of junior representative teams, like the NSW under-17s, NSW under-19s and Australian under-19s.

But his highlight so far is being selected for the CA Chairman's XI to play against Alastair Cook's England in a tour match at Alice Springs last year.

"That was incredible. To play against a senior England team was surreal. It's something I'll always look back on with pride. Now to make the NSW squad was my dream since I was 6."

The summer may be over but cricket doesn't stop. In this busy year he'll split his time between year 12 studies at Hills Sports High and the elite National Performance Squad in Brisbane.

"My goal is to push for my NSW debut spot but that depends on how my preseason goes. I want to dominate grade cricket this year for Fairfield-Liverpool."

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