Local cricketer picked for Australian team

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Congratulations to Emerald Hill cricketer Steve Teloniatis, who has been selected to represent the Australian Cricket Team for Players with an Intellectual Disability at the INAS Tri Series, to be held in Kimberley, South Africa, from 14 to 27 November 2011.

The 20-year-old leg-spinner, known to his teammates as ‘Stevie T’, first turned up to training as a 12-year-old local who just wanted to have a hit in the nets. The following season he returned and started bowling huge, turning leg breaks that immediately grabbed the attention of club stalwart and 3rd XI skipper Peter Mitchell. In his customary gruff manner, Mitchell asked Stevie: “where the hell did you learn to do that?” Stevie’s flat bat reply was: “from a book.”

Indeed, Stevie had been learning his craft over the winter months by replicating what he had seen in a Shane Warne coaching manual.

Within a month, Stevie was playing in Peter’s team, and by season’s end he was the youngest player in club history to play in a premiership, aged just 13. And he wasn’t just a bit player either. He took three wickets in the semi final, followed by another three in the grand final.

With a great passion for the game, Stevie quickly developed under the tutelage of Mitchell. Within two years, he was representing the club’s first grade in Menzies Shield. At 15, he was the youngest player in club history to do so.

Earlier this year, fellow leg-spinner Adrian Mitchell (who recently died in a tragic drowning accident in Sri Lanka) put together a video package showcasing Stevie’s unique ability in entering a Cricket Australia talent search. While not successful in gaining a place at the Academy, he did garner the attention of Cricket Australia officials, who invited him to join the training squad for South Africa. After impressing in trial matches, Stevie was rewarded with selection for the tour.

Although a veteran of 86 matches over eight seasons, Stevie is still the youngest player at Emerald Hill and is looked upon as a little brother to all. Hence all at the club are extremely proud of all he has achieved and, like Stevie himself, greatly appreciative of all the time and effort Peter and Adrian Mitchell put in to get him there.

By Joel Dickson

 

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