Western Australia is no stranger to producing prodigious talents, and Teague Wyllie, aged just 17 as it stands, is expected to be the next big thing to have emerged from that state. From the great Garth McKenzie to the iconic duo of Rod Marsh-Dennis Lillee, the iconic Geoff Marsh and the under-appreciated Stuart MacGill, the list is just never-ending when we talk of the greats from Western Australia.
There is a great burden on the young shoulders of Wyllie, who has been compared to a 21st-century legend from those lands, Damien Martyn. Spending time in the stewardship of Craig Simmons, former Perth Scorchers opener, who has been watching him since he was 12. A fantastic timer of the ball who isn’t afraid to take his chances, Teague Wyllie has already captured a lot of attention.
Wyllie scored a century in first-grade cricket last year at the age of 16 and since then, he has been a sure-shot contender to make it to the Australian U19 squad for the World Cup. Whatever prompted Simmons to compare this young gun to the Martyn, one thing is certain, that this player packs a punch and is desperate to make his mark at the highest level.
Teague Wyllie’s rich cricketing heritage
Interestingly, a parallel drawn to a former Australian great isn’t the only source of motivation for Wyllie to do well. He hails from a family of cricketers, who were so popular in the country region, that the grade cricket trophy was given their second name. “The Wyllie Cup” is named after the father and two brothers of Teague Wyllie, who maintain great relations with associations in the state. His older system Georgia represents Perth Scorchers in WBBL.
In an interview with Cricket Australia, the 17-year-old reiterated a fact that he was not forced into the game because of his second name, but it was something he loved doing. “I love batting and ever since I was a young kid, I’ve just not liked getting out … every time I go out there, I just try and bat as long as I can,” he said.
To have that extra bit of exposure, to play first-grade cricket without much trouble, was a great incentive for Wyllie, who doesn’t wish to remain in the spotlight of his family, and wants to frame his own identity. In that pursuit, he made it count when he was given the opportunity to represent U17 National Championships for Cricket Australia.
Not very long ago, he was in India and spoke at length about his experience of playing in the sub-continent. He spoke of how difficult it was to track and read the spin-friendly conditions in this part of the world, and said it was an unbelievable experience to be experiencing this cultural change.
There is, however, some confusion as to where this young cricketer could bat. Teague Wyllie recently represented Australia in some Youth Tests and scored plenty of runs. He is often asked by his coach to stay for as long as he can in the 50-over format, as his best exploits tend to come once he gets his hand in. Well capable of playing the marathon knocks, we might see him in the middle for long durations during the World Cup.
The ICC U19 Men’s World Cup begins in the first week of February, and the Australian side is already in West Indies. These boys will be facing India and South Africa in warm-up fixtures before they open their group stage campaign. It has been over a decade since Australia laid hands on this trophy, and things won’t get easy for them this time as well.
The Australian contingent will be led by Copper Connolly, and there are impressive opening options for the side. In the words of Wyllie, there are as many as five cricketers capable of opening for the side. But he mentioned that he will remain patient and will have a healthy battle with his fellow mates for a position in the team.