Wolves may be biggest test in Duffy's young life
Southland teenager Jacob Duffy could play the biggest game of his young cricketing life in Mohali, India, tonight.
The 19-year-old Southland Boys' High School product is expected to step on to the world stage when the Otago Volts lineup against leading Pakistan side the Faisalabad Wolves in the opening qualifying game of the Champions League twenty20 tournament.
Just a couple of years ago, Duffy was playing in the Southland club cricket competition but now the tall right-arm fast bowler is bracing himself for the $7.7m tournament in a country where cricket is more religion than sport.
Duffy was a key figure in helping the Volts to India with his performances in New Zealand's domestic competition, where he was joint leading wicket-taker in the HRV Cup with team-mate Nick Beard.
Duffy has also impressed in the warmup games in Sri Lanka, though there is plenty of depth in the Volts setup, which has created some selection dilemmas for coach Vaughn Johnson.
Duffy isn't a certainty to play tonight.
Speaking from India, Johnson said he was pleased with Duffy's progress and said they would monitor him in the lead-up to the game and make a decision whether to include the youngster in the playing 11.
"He's doing everything we've asked of him, and as we know, he's a good kid."
Johnson said being at a tournament like the Champions League would be a massive eye-opener for a young player like Duffy. Just brushing shoulders with some of world cricket's biggest names was exciting enough, he said.
"There's three teams staying at this hotel, so obviously there are some big names and identifiable players that walk in to breakfast. Dale Steyn has just walked into breakfast now," Johnson said.
"It's great for some of the young kids in the team like Jacob Duffy. He walks around in awe of some of the international players that he's watched on television and now here he is rubbing shoulders with them. It's a great experience for someone like him. But even our older players, I hope they will be back again, but who knows."
- © Fairfax NZ News