Cricket. Former local Kayden Hine recently realised his ambitions of playing at international level.
The 20-year-old last month returned from England after a stint with the Wellington Cricket Club in Division Three of the West of England Premier League.
Growing up in Marrawah, Hine played with the Marrawah Cricket Club in the Circular Head Cricket Association, Circular Head Colts in Cricket North West and Wynyard Cricket Club in the North West League before moving to Hobart in 2015.
While studying his first year of a Bachelor of Business and Science at the University of Tasmania, Hine joined the South Hobart Sandy Bay Cricket Club in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League before deferring his second year of study for the international opportunity.
“I’d always said as a kid growing up that I wanted to one day play cricket in England,” Hine says.
“That was always the main goal so when I heard the news it was quite surprising to have actually achieved that at such a young age.”
Leaving for the United Kingdom in April following the 2016-17 season in Tasmania, the talented batsman and wicketkeeper was ecstatic to be playing year-round: “That’s the dream!”
In a league which boasts former professional cricketers, Hine was confronted by tough competition.
“It was a bit of a shock when I first got there, the pitch is a lot slower and the ball tends to stay lower so it took a bit of getting used to,” he says.
“I had to adapt to the conditions and step out of my comfort zone but that was really rewarding.”
Setting a goal to achieve 600 accumulated runs, Hine surpassed his expectations to finish with more than 1200 runs from 30 games.
“Before England, I hadn’t scored a century in men’s cricket,” he says.
“It was good to walk away and come back to Australia with three centuries under my belt. And as an overseas cricketer – there is only one in a team – you go out against other teams and you are like the key prize for them.
“A lot of teams will really get stuck into you so trying to cope with that external pressure as well as the pressure I had on myself to perform, that helped me develop a thick skin.”
Despite achieving a career high of 152 not out, Hine says his real highlight was competing competitively in a local Twenty20 competition as a part of a team.
Hine says he thrived in the competitive and action-packed environment, training twice a week with all-day weekend matches and Twenty20 competitions every Monday evening.
“I have developed so many different techniques to combat different bowling,” he says, adding that the experience has changed him.
“It was unreal, such a great experience! From growing up and seeing blokes like Alfonso Thomas playing in the Big Bash League in Western Australia and test cricket in South Africa . . . I played against him in Bridgewater.
“I find I enjoy my cricket a lot more now, I’ve found ways to cope mentally with success and failure, and instead of dwelling on a loss, I enjoy the game and give it the best crack I can.”