Recognising Haileybury’s Cricketing Champions
Cricket is in Haileybury’s sporting DNA. It has been part of the School’s heritage since the 1800s and we continue to celebrate the cricketing talents of students with several Haileybury players being selected by Cricket Victoria for its high-performance Emerging Players Program.
Year 10 student Zac Grech has been picked for the 2021/2022 Vic Metro Under-17 squad and Katherine Dekel, also Year 10, has been selected for the 2021/2022 Vic Metro Under-16 squad.
Year 12 students Reiley Mark and Raheel Bostan have been named in the 2021/2022 Vic Country Under-19 squad along with Shobit Singh, who graduated from the School in 2020 and was 2019/2020 Haileybury First XI Cricket Captain.
Zac began playing cricket for Haileybury in Year 5 and made a century for the School this year—one of three he’s already made for Haileybury, says Brent Ritchie, Head of Cricket (Boys).
“Zac is an exciting prospect as a batsman and developing off spinner and overall, he’s an impressive young man. His selection is a credit to his ability and hard work,” says Mr Ritchie.
“Shobit, who won the Roger Gerny Medal as Haileybury Cricket’s most outstanding player for 2019/2020, also deserves this recognition. Reiley and Raheel have made significant contributions to Haileybury Cricket. The First XI won the Premiership this season and their efforts went a long way to achieving that success.”
Reiley was the leading wicket taker in the APS First XI competition and is also part of Cricket Victoria’s Male Emerging Performance squad.
“Reiley, who is 18, will be training with men in their 20s and 30s and the players in that squad are often of interest to Cricket Victoria as cricketers who could potentially make the State Squad,” says Mr Ritchie.
“Raheel’s spot within the 2021/2022 Vic Country Under-19 squad is also well-earned. He has great skill with bat and ball. In the APS First XI competition last season, Raheel averaged over 30 with the bat and under 20 with the ball.”
Raheel’s earliest memories of playing cricket were in his home country of Pakistan.
“I remember being six or seven years old and making teams with my friends and playing with tennis balls and old, taped-up bats. I took inspiration from the sheer enjoyment of the sport and seeing my idols play on TV,” he says.
While at Haileybury, Raheel represented Victoria in the under-15 and under-17 age groups.
“That was a great way of challenging myself against some of the best in the country. Another highlight is winning the APS Cricket Premiership this year, going unbeaten and lifting the trophy with my teammates and coaches,” he says.
The more recently established Girls Cricket Program at Haileybury has seen an emerging star in the shape of Katherine Dekel, who has been selected in the 2021/2022 Vic Metro Under-16 squad.
“Katherine is also a talented softball player and as a nine-year-old she was offered the chance to play in the Under-12s for Victoria. I knew she was a great cricketer, too, and when we began the Girls Cricket Program, I persuaded her to join. She has become the star of the show,” says Cameron Davidson, Head of Cricket (Girls).
“She is a role model to the younger players at Haileybury. To be awarded this honour by Cricket Victoria is a phenomenal achievement and we are so proud of her as a cricketer and as a young person.”
Katherine remembers that her first ever unofficial cricket match took place in her backyard with her older brother as her opponent.
“That game was characterised by me demanding to bat first, refusing to bowl and poor umpiring decisions where I would bat until he would get me out which inevitably provoked an argument!” says Katherine.
She officially began playing when she was nine and was inspired by cricketers such as Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry.
“My ultimate aspiration is to play in the Women’s Big Bash League, in the Victorian team, and perhaps for Australia,” she says.