A Warrnambool and District Cricket product has described the build-up and occasion of making his Victorian Premier Cricket first XI debut as a "pretty emotional" moment after years of hard work and sacrifice.
Allansford-Panmure young gun Ethan Boyd, in just his first season playing with Fitzroy-Doncaster in the elite club competition in Melbourne, was called up for the Lions in their round four draw against Geelong, played across the past two weekends.
Boyd, who is now living in Melbourne for his university studies, said the club, through skipper Ejaaz Alavi, arranged his mum Alicia to travel down and present him with his first XI cap prior to the match.
"It was an unreal experience and I'm extremely grateful for the whole thing," he said.
"On the first day it was pretty emotional with getting the cap presented. Ejaaz teed up mum to come down and hand the cap to me. It was pretty special. It caught me off guard, I didn't know it was the plan.
"Dad was playing cricket obviously so mum was next in line. It was very special. We're a close family and they have helped me through my journey, driving me to games and everything in between so it was unreal.
"It's a memory that'll stick with me for a long time."
It didn't take long for the right-arm speedster to make his presence known on day two, snaring premier champion Hayden Butterworth caught behind to finish with impressive figures of 1-30 from eight overs.
"To not do much (on the first day) and watch the boys bat really well was really good and helped ease me in," he said.
"Then to come out and get my first wicket was a great feeling. It was special to come on. I felt good coming on and sure enough the ball did a little bit and it was enough to get him out."
After an impressive start to his premier career, bowling accurate, long spells in the club's second XI, the youngster - who featured in Victorian Country's side last season - said he had a slight inkling he was in with a sniff of a debut.
"It all worked in my favour. The week leading in, it helped being in good form, staying fit because a few went down with injury. The other twos bowler had a slight hamstring," he said.
"I had a feeling If I was getting picked it'd be this week, but I didn't really expect it though being my first. I was happy just playing good cricket and seeing where it took me."
Boyd said the feedback from the coaches and leaders was "pretty positive".
"I'm pretty grateful. My first spell was unreal. It showed me what you need to do at that level," he said.
"It's a great learning experience. It just showed me that I need to be consistent. The feedback was about that but pretty positive all round."
Boyd was not the only Warrnambool cricketer to debut in the game, with West Warrnambool and Hawkesdale-based Fletcher Cozens lining up for the Cats.
Despite not getting the chance to bowl to the opening batter, Boyd said it was "special" to share the moment with his good mate who was steadily improving after a few years in the seconds.
"It's special. I talked to him through the week, it's amazing to share that with him forever," he said.
"In 2017 I played my first junior country week premiership with him in the under 13s and since then we've been playing Western Waves and those country weeks.
"To debut against each other in the highest level of club cricket in Victoria was pretty special."
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