Harry Boam has given the Wellington cricket selectors something to think about by smashing his maiden club century in style.
The 22-year old blasted nine 6s in his 118 off 79 balls, helping to steer Karori to a 246-run win over Wainuiomata last weekend.
Boam hit the headlines in the 2008-09 season when he became the first schoolboy cricketer to be awarded a Wellington contract.
Since then he has been shuffled around the batting and bowling orders, often to make room for international imports contracted by Wellington.
"It's the nature of cricket. It's becoming more of a business," he said.
"It's disappointing to miss out on teams from my point of view, but I always want Wellington to do well, so whether it's me or someone else doing it, it doesn't really bother me to be honest."
Boam was omitted from the Wellington team for the opening first-class match of the season.
However, he was selected for the Twenty20 match against Canterbury last Friday, though he did not get the chance to bat or bowl.
"Another night I could've had to come out and scored 30 off 20 balls and win us the game. It's just the way it's going to go," he said.
"It's only one game out of 10 and we cruised home, so I'm not disappointed at all."
Former Karori cricket captain Simon Baker has been involved throughout Boam's time with the club and said he had mixed views on overseas players who cost talented locals a spot in the team.
"Harry's a good example of someone who's been in the development system of Wellington all his career but from time to time misses out because of these guys," said Baker.
"They've got to pull their weight, whether it's through the gates or winning games for us."
Boam said he thought the coaching team of Jamie Siddons and Shane Deitz had made positive changes in the Firebirds camp, and that he had been given lots of opportunities to prove himself.
"The guys who make the decisions are there because they know what they're doing.
"We came away with a win, so they've obviously made some good choices in terms of the mix of people they went for," he said.
"That's the way it goes in professional sport; you're going to miss out on teams, and you're going to make teams that you maybe shouldn't have."
Wellington's results in recent seasons have been disappointing, with no silverware won since 2004, despite signings of superstars such as Muttiah Muralitharan and Brett Lee.
This year Wellington has signed Bangladesh youngster Tamim Iqbal, Englishman Chris Woakes and Australians Cameron Borgas and Shaun Tait.
Boam is confident the positive build-up will help bring better results this season.
- The Wellingtonian