Steketee preparing for nationals
MARK Steketee is the fastest under-17 bowler in Queensland and is ready to play for his state in the national championships in Hobart in January.
During a visit to Warwick for a coaching session on Monday, Queensland cricket pace bowling co-ordinator and talent manager Vic Williams said on his day, Steketee was the fastest bowler in the state.
“There are a few under-17 bowlers just behind him in pace,” Williams said.
“Mark’s work ethic is really good and he has a good action which leads to him consistently putting pressure on batsmen.
“He gets good shape away from the bat.”
The talent manager said Steketee had benefited by playing against men in country cricket much earlier than players in the metropolitan area.
“You learn much quicker if you play senior cricket at a young age,” he said.
“The senior cricketers have more knowledge and pass it on whereas a player like Mark would be the best in his peer (age) group and very seldom get help on the field during (junior) games.”
While he wasn’t going to predict that tell the Daily News Steketee was destined to play Sheffield Shield cricket for the Bulls, Williams said Queensland Cricket looked on every player in its youth teams as potential first-class cricketers.
“There are now more opportunities with the growth of Twenty20 cricket,” he said.
Steketee has opened the batting for his club, Maryvale, in Warwick A-grade cricket but is rated a handy lower-order batsman in youth circles.
“His job is to get wickets with the new ball,” Williams said.
Former Bulls paceman Joe Dawes hasn’t seen as much of Steketee as Williams but rated the Warwick youngster.
“He is in our high performance program and is pretty tall and has good pace for his age,” Dawes said.
“Mark has a lot of potential.”
Steketee took 3-19 off 10 overs for South Queensland Country in a North Queensland Country 50-over score of 214 last Saturday to book his spot in the state U17 squad.
He also impressed with the ball in Twenty20 games against Brisbane teams on Sunday.
Warwick coach Peter Kimmince has no doubt Steketee will be in the Queensland U17 side when the state squad is reduced from 15 to 13.
“It was amazing the way he bowled last weekend,” Kimmince said.
“He was just too quick for the batsman after being timed earlier this year at 128 kilometres an hour.”