Haywards Heath Cricket Club will welcome Australian leg spinner Alex Crowther as their overseas for the new season.
The 18-year-old from Wentworth Falls will join up with his new side later this month.
Crowther will join an illustrious list of names to have served a six-month cricket and cultural change program.
In previous years Australian international stars like Adam Gilchrist, Phil Jacques and Stephen O’Keefe have all served on the program.
He’s the first Blue Mountains cricketer to be awarded the prestigious $8,000 scholarship.
Crowther will play for Heath as well as teach a number of coaching sessions during his time in England.
It is the tenth straight straight season that Heath will welcome an New South Wales winning scholar.
Club captain Gary Honeysett is delighted to once again welcome an Australian overseas.
He said: “ All of our previous players from this scheme have been very good cricketers and Alex comes highly regarded.
We were keen to have a quality spinner in the side and the fact he bats at three means we have a genuine all rounder to help in our push for promotion.
It’s a great life experience for Alex and we are re very proud that New South Wales Cricket continue to send their players to our clubGary Honeysett
“It’s a great life experience for Alex and we are re very proud that New South Wales Cricket continue to send their players to our club.”
Bruce Whitehouse, the operations manager of Country Cricket, said the scholarship was “really difficult [to get], it’s very competitive and much sought after.
He told Australian newspaper the Blue Mountains Gazette: “There were nominations right across the state, we determined Alex was the best.
“Alex has been a consistent performer in various age country programs - since the 14s,” he said.
Mr Whitehouse said BBM Ltd had been great supporters of cricket, offering a city and country scholarship since 1988. The program gave recipients “a chance to hone their skills in a different playing environment and a great chance for their life skills”.
“They [Haywards Heath] will look after him like a king, with accommodation and meals. I don’t know who is more excited, Alex or his dad.”
Alex told the Blue Mountains Gazette: “The cricket is a little bit different [in England] but ... my cricket is only going to grow.”
Nominated by western zone, he played his first game in first grade at 13 as a leg spinner and now both spins and bats.
“I wouldn’t have got this without one or the other [skill],” he said.