Hopes for World Cup
WARWICK cricket coach Peter Kimmince has his fingers crossed paceman Mark Steketee will make the Australian team for the under-19 World Cup in Queensland in August.
Kimmince first coached Steketee at the age of 13 and currently works with the Queensland U19 paceman at the Slade Park nets each Monday and Friday.
"He deserves to make the team, he has put in a lot of work this season," Kimmince said.
Steketee made the team of the championships after the U19 nationals in Adelaide, where he took the second most wickets, 16, at an average of 13.3.
Queensland won the national title in January for the first time in 11 years.
Kimmince said making the top team in Adelaide did not guarantee the paceman a cup spot.
"Mark has to make sure he stays injury free and bowls well at national squad camps and in some trial games," Kimmince said.
"He is getting stronger and faster, his line and length has really improved.
"Mark has straightened his run up and has a beautiful bowling style."
At U19 level, Steketee has not received many opportunities with the bat as he often comes in at number 10.
"He loves hitting the ball out of the nets.
"Matt Elford, Pat Gribbin, James Breen, Carter Bilbrough and Jordan Siebenhausen are five young Warwick bowlers who bowl to Mark each week.
"If they dismiss him, they celebrate."
Kimmince isn't planning his World Cup as a fan just yet.
"The first thing I want to see is for Mark to be selected," Kimmince said.
Australia starts its defence of its cup title with a game against traditional rival and former champion England at Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville, on the opening day of the 16-day tournament on August 11.
This will be one of the 10 matches from the Tony Ireland Stadium, along with two quarter-finals, two semi-finals and the final on August 26, which will be televised live by ESPN Star Sports, ICC's global broadcast partners.
Kimmince said he was disappointed in one way the final was not in Brisbane.
"But it is good to take games to other regions," Kimmince said.
Australia is the most successful team in the history of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, having won the title three times - in 1988, 2002 and 2010.
However, Pakistan is the only side which has won back-to-back titles, 2004 and 2006.