Berry's pick

EX-Ipswich Witches promoter John Berry has always been a good judge of a speedway rider.Now based in Perth, Western Australia, he is sticking his neck out again over young talent - but this time it is cricket.

By Elvin King

EX-Ipswich Witches promoter John Berry has always been a good judge of a speedway rider.

Now based in Perth, Western Australia, he is sticking his neck out again over young talent - but this time it is cricket.

“Remember the name, Marcus Harris. He is 15 years old and within ten years he will be opening for Australia,” said Berry, whose son AJ plays in the same side as the batting protégé.

“The last time I forecasted an international sporting future for a schoolboy it was Jason Crump, who is now world speedway champion.”

Harris is already captain of his district team - a year above his age group.

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In his four latest innings for his club the youngster has made chanceless, effortless fifties and Berry says that he will be surprised if Harris gets out once this season.

“He sees the ball so early and has a ridiculous amount of time to get into perfect position. He plays the correct shot to every delivery, knows exactly where every fielder is, and rarely misses a gap, chastising himself if he does.

“The ball always comes off the middle of his bat. Marcus is a midget of a boy and not a brilliant fielder. But even at his age you would pay to watch him bat.

“I picked out Damien Martin and Justin Langer for big futures when they were struggling to get into the Western Australia side so I feel I can judge a good cricketer.”

AJ also plays in the district side, bowling well-flighted leg spinners and also showing up well with the bat. He is currently topping his district bowling and batting averages.

“When I was in England signing copies of my new book recently, AJ scored 35 opening the batting for his club side and the following day took three wickets for 16 runs in eight overs for his district side,” said Berry.

“It seems he does better when I am 'coaching' him from 12,000 miles away!”

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