Anderson bats in Alice
GYMPIE'S Carlin Anderson hopes his selection in the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cricket squad for the Imparja Cup is just the start of a long senior representative career.
The 16-year-old is the only schoolboy to win selection in the Queensland squad, which hopes to add to its impressive tournament record in Alice Springs this week.
The now Ipswich Grammar School student earned his selection after a standout performance in last year's GPS competition where he top-scored for his school's First XI, despite being in Year 11.
Anderson, who also played in the Queensland under-15 schoolboys team last season, has come through the Eddie Gilbert Indigenous Talent Identification Program.
The further along Anderson gets in his cricket career, the closer he is to reaching his ultimate goal.
"I'm going to try and get one of those baggy greens in the future," Anderson said.
If the youngster manages to achieve the lofty goal, he would become the third IGS cricketer to achieve the feat, following in the footsteps of Craig McDermott and Shane Watson.
Despite his growing reputation as a young player on the rise, Anderson was surprised but pleased to get the chance to play in Alice Springs.
"I wasn't expecting it at all, but when I got the call, I was stoked," Anderson said of the moment Queensland Cricket management informed him of his selection.
"I'm pretty nervous, but it's going to better my cricket game and help get my name out in the sport."
For those who have watched the talented all-rounder first-hand, the selection came as less of a surprise.
IGS cricket director Aaron Moore said Anderson was a beneficiary of his own hard work.
"He's a very talented cricketer," Moore said.
"An aggressive top-order bat who can hit a long ball, a handy off-spinner and an excellent fielder. We've had him for two years now and he's really knuckled down with his work ethic and become pretty good."
While the teenager's formidable cricket reputation has been steadily growing, he is already considered one of Australia's best young softballers.
Anderson captained the Queensland under-17 softball team to the national championships in Melbourne last year, with his efforts earning him an Australian guernsey.
School commitments meant Anderson was unavailable for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander XI's final pre-tournament match against the QAS last Friday.
The Gympie Times spoke to Anderson's mother Vicki yesterday.
She said he had been opening the batting in the competition.
His highest score so far has been a 60.