FATHER-of-three Adrian Benson has come up with a unique way to ensure his young daughters are never far from his thoughts when he spends long hours on the cricket field.
In a bid to balance a hectic work schedule, time with his family and hours at cricket training and matches, daughters Emily, 5, Claire, 3 and Zoe, 2, each placed a sticker on the back of his bat. Not only is it a reminder of his children but a symbol of their support for him playing the game he loves.
“My three girls put a sticker on there late last year when I was struggling for form,” he said.
“I was at home talking about it and spending a lot of time away from home to play cricket so we decided the girls could do that.”
His daughters are regulars at Russells Creek matches and he hopes in his return to division one today and tomorrow that he gets to wield the willow for long periods.
Benson, who started last season in division one, finished in division two after battling for runs. He has played three division two games so far this season but an unbeaten 53 last week ensured a promotion for this weekend.
Russells Creek starts a two-day match against reigning premier West Warrnambool today and backs up tomorrow with the Forever Young Shield one-day game against ladder-leader Woodford.
While it looks a tough weekend for the seventh-placed Creek, Benson views it as a big opportunity for his side and himself.
“There is a chance with two games on the weekend to really put my case forward to cement a spot in the middle order,” he said.
“I don’t think many teams thought we were a chance of making finals. We don’t want to be thinking we are not a show but wins before Christmas are important to setting up your season.”
A win against Woodford would help it leap up the ladder.
The 34-year-old physiotherapist, who is the allied health services co-ordinator at St John of God hospital, said Creek was not prioritising one match ahead of the other this weekend.
But he admitted tomorrow’s match which honours the lives of six young people who died in a car crash more than 12 months ago near Penshurst would have added meaning.
He played alongside one of those who were killed, Sean Doran. “I think individually for a lot of the guys in their own way it will mean a lot. I played a lot of games with Sean and I think everyone will deal with it in their own unique way.
“Everyone will be giving it something extra.”
He said the day was important to the club, wanting to provide support to Sean’s family and honour their teammate.
In what is shaping as an intriguing round of matches, sixth-placed Port Fairy could jump into the top four with a win over bottom side Allansford, ninth-placed Brierly Christ Church hosts eighth-placed Nirranda while 10th-placed Nestles will be looking to continue its climb up the ladder when it faces the in-form second-placed Dennington at Reid Oval. Fourth-placed Wesley-CBC is looking to rebound from last Sunday’s loss to West Warrnambool when it hosts ladder-leader Woodford in another criticial game.