Crawford gets the nod

BRETT Crawford has been selected in the NSW Country cricket team after three years waiting in the wings.

The former Tintenbar-East Ballina captain was one of the first notified of his overdue selection in the 13-man team to contest the national championships at Albury-Wodonga in January, with another call from selectors taken by Casino batsman Sam Irvine 30 minutes later.

They join Taree bowler Corey Shield as the only selected members of the North Coast team that failed to make the finals of the NSW Country championships on the Central Coast last weekend.

The fact Crawford’s call-up woke him less than five hours after driving home from the Central Coast wasn’t a point of distraction before he headed off to work in Byron Bay.

“They could have woken me at five o’clock if they wanted,” a relieved Crawford said soon after hearing the news.

Crawford’s form with the bat, slamming unbeaten innings of 102 and 54, and a lightning 47 from 42 balls, down south, had triggered the selectors’ nod, but ironically the display fell well short of the innings slammed three years ago when he was first overlooked.

It devastated the Ballina batsmen at the time and amazed local cricket officials.

“It’s been a long time coming, and I’m very excited about playing a big role in the national titles,”  Crawford said. “If they were starting tomorrow I’d be there.”

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