Former East Ballarat cricketer Matt Short will captain the Cricket Australia XI as it takes on South Africa in a two-day tour match in Adelaide this weekend.
The CA XI is made up of the country’s top emerging talent aged 22 or under and to be named captain is a great honour for the 20-year-old all-rounder.
Short said it was an extremely exciting opportunity to have chance to take on some of the world’s best cricketers in Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis ahead of South Africa’s tour of Australia.
"It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be a really good experience to see how they go about their business. I’m sure the boys and myself will learn a lot out of this match,” Short told cricket.com.au.
"Being young, you’ve got so many opportunities now in cricket and so many challenges to take head-on.
"All you can do is do your best - you never know what will happen. You can really match some of these first class teams and international teams.
"You’re always going to come up against quality players, whether they’re international players or state players.”
While the Cricket Australia XI did not manage to win a game in this year’s Matador Cup, it produced some competitive performances – with close encounters against New South Wales Blues, Queensland Bulls and Western Warriors.
Short, who averaged 32.8 runs with the bat from his five matches, was hopeful the confidence the team gained from some strong showings throughout the tournament would translate to the tour match against the Proteas.
"It’s been a really good learning curve for a lot of us young guys. Although we didn’t get any wins, I think we competed well and were courageous in showing a skill-set and really taking it up to a few of the other teams.
"The good thing this year is we competed a lot better. It was a bit more enjoyable not getting those heavy defeats this year, although there were a couple, we really took it up to a few teams and probably in the end should have had a couple of wins."
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