Roncalli College’s new English-import, Ed Kilbee, is keen to leave his mark on the South Canterbury cricket landscape.
The opening batsman may have lasted just two balls in his debut in the South Canterbury senior competition, last Saturday, but he isn’t one to dwell on it.
“That’s a part of the game, every so often you’re going to get a good one that gets you out, and I’d like to think I’m the sort of man who can accept that.
“I was probably lucky I wasn’t out first ball, if [Temuka] had a gully in, I probably would have been out the ball before.
“Days like that come about where you nick-out second ball, but hopefully when I get in to double-figures I turn it into three figures.”
Despite the auspicious start, the 23-year-old has a history of spending time at the crease.
The left-hander played for Wiltshire, the Surrey second XI and the Worcestershire second XI, during the English summer, and scored 63 and 136 in a minor championship match in his last game of the season, last month.
Kilbee was lured to South Canterbury by a former top batsman of the province, Andrew Buckingham.
“I wanted another six months of cricket under my belt and to play cricket during the winter,” Kilbee said.
“I also wanted to appreciate another culture, and see New Zealand, which I’ve heard is a lovely, old place.
“I have ambitions to play for South Canterbury and bringing home some silverware for the boys.”
Kilbee said he was enjoying playing with secondary school pupils at Roncalli and he was drawing on his captaincy experience from his school days to be a good role model.
“The guys are really energetic, young and enthusiastic. If you watch us in the field, you’ll see us buzzing around and that’s why I love cricket, that team buzz is fantastic.”
He said he had always enjoyed opening the batting despite it being one of the hardest roles in cricket.
“It’s where I’ve been batting most of my life.
“Sometimes when I’m batting in the middle-order, I get frustrated wanting to go out in the middle.
“I like the feel of the hard ball on my bat and I like the challenge of the new ball.”
He may also be seen at the bowling crease, with some left-arm medium-pace or slow left-arm spin. The London-born player may not be the only United Kingdom-based player to come to South Canterbury this season, with there being plans for a second player to arrive in the near future.
Kilbee will face his first real test on Sunday, when he will play for a Mid-South Canterbury selection against the Canterbury Wizards in a 50-over match at Timaru’s Aorangi Oval.