SOME athletes are built for the big moments. It’s what sets them apart.
Tommy Jackson falls into this category.
That’s the assessment from Jackson’s former Warrnambool and District Cricket Association coach John Houston, who watched the teenage wicketkeeper-batsman emerge.
Jackson is now honing his skills at Victorian Premier Cricket club Geelong and will represent his state for a second time in three months when he plays for Vic Country at the under 19 national championships in December.
He lined up for Victoria at the under 17 national titles in October.
“Tommy stands up in the big moments, dominates and takes the game on,” Houston said.
“In the second (of three straight) grand finals we played, against Port Fairy, he would have been 15 at that stage and Brad Parsons had bowled Nick Butters and we were three for not a lot.
“Tommy went out there and smacked one over cover and from that point on he took the game away from him.”
Jackson scored a then career-best 72 in the 2015-16 decider – just his first at senior level.
Woodford was struggling at 3-50 and, adding to the pressure, Jackson had to fend off a hat-trick ball on his first delivery.
“You need to be able to stand up in grand finals and Tommy did that as a young kid and he seems to be able to do that at state carnivals,” Houston said.
Houston said Jackson, who is working closely with Nestles export and former South Australian wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman at Geelong, was committed to improving his cricket.
“He’s a really good kid and is getting rewarded for his hard work,” he said.
“It is really good to watch his ride.
“He’s a great kid and we still talk. He is firmly on the ground.”