Mangalorean Craig Aims to Play Cricket for Australia
By Denzil Fernandes
Daijiworld Media Network - Dubai
Dubai, Feb 1: It is a cherished dream of every father and mother to see their siblings shine and prosper in whatever they do. For Mangalore’s Godwin Pereira and his sporting Goan wife Macktilde Cristaline too the dream is the same with their only son Craig Dean.
Mangalore’s Jeffery and Evelyn Pereira from Derebail went on to settle down in Bombay in 1950 where their son Godwin Pereira was born in a family of 7 brothers and 2 sisters. Godwin Pereira was off in 1990 to Dubai for greener pastures and later met Goa’s Macktilde Cristaline and very soon they were walking down the aisle to tie the inevitable knot in matrimony. Happily after, they were celebrating with the birth of their only child Craig Dean on Sept.20 in 1994 in Dubai.
Godwin and Macktilde being shrewd parents saw the potential in their young lad and did not hesitate when Craig took to cricket just like fish taking to water. What followed was a series of non stop cricket activity at the now defunct cricket grounds in Jadhafs, Dubai. With a host of cricketmates from India and Pakistan around, the seeds had been sown for Craig to hammer the cricket ball all around the park.
Having a supportive father who had earlier given his all to the teams he supported while in Dubai, Craig had no problems continuing his cricket in Australia where the family moved in 2006 settling down in Brisbane.
Now studying in Grade XI at the Ferny Grove State High School in Brisbane, Craig has never looked back since arriving in Australia. At every single opportunity, Craig has upgraded his cricket achievements and is now slowly climbing the ladder of success. He has been scoring runs at will and playing for various teams in Brisbane. In the year 2009/10 he scored a record 201 runs in 134 balls for Ferny Fireballs in the under 15 competition to eclipse the highest score in Brisbane held by Australian cricketer James Hopes earlier. In the process, he also amassed 541 runs in the season for a impressive batting average of 108.2. The statistician of Ferny Fireballs, Geoff Cowles diving for the record books said, “I don’t think this has ever been achieved in our club or across the Brisbane North Zone but I will have to check the archives”.
The beauty in Australian cricket development is that they have regular competitions in every age group all over the states. Craig has been featured in many high scores while playing for the Ferny Districts Cricket Club. There have been several eminent cricketers like Mathew Hayden, Ian Healy, Andrew Symonds, Allan Border and others who have all come from Brisbane. Playing for the Valleys District Cricket Club in Brisbane in the T20 inter state tourney, Craig has seen great success as a batsman.
When I met Craig when he was in Dubai for a holiday, he seemed a total cricket lad with many high class bats already packed in his baggage to be taken back to Australia. He is fully occupied with the game throughout the year. When he is not playing outdoors, Craig said that the indoor tournaments keep him busy with the winter competition.
An exciting lad who is also good in his studies, Craig is thankful to his parents for the enormous backing he gets from them. An accomplished left hand opening batsman, Craig is also a right hand medium pace bowler. But one must say that more than his parents it is his maternal uncle William from Dubai who is excited about the young man making his progress in Australian cricket.
Craig has rattled runs at will and is now slowly trying to catch the eyes and ears of the Australian scouts to get into senior and more serious competition. Already a popular young man in his home town, parents want him to coach their children and show them the tricks of scoring big in which Craig specialises.
It is a dream come true situation for a Mangalorean father and a Goan mother to see their only son aiming to wear the baggy green Australian cap in due course of time. For this to happen, Craig has all the time in the world and all the care and attention which he is getting with no hesitation.
There is no doubt that very soon as the ball speeds to the boundary one will see Craig raising his bat and score for his chosen country. The youngster has that fire in his belly and supreme confidence which is vital for anyone to succeed at the top level. With more determination and practice one is bound to hear more about Craig’s heroics with the bat in Australia.