All-rounder set for Queensland debut
CRICKET: Leighton Milburn admits he's feeling a little nervous as he prepares to make his Queensland cricket debut.
The talented all-rounder will line up with the state open schoolboys team at the national championships which start in Sydney tomorrow.
The Queenslanders will play a 50-over game and a three-day game against arch-rival NSW, and Milburn is looking to impress on the national stage.
"I'm starting to get quite nervous, actually, but it will be very satisfying putting on the uniform and representing my state,” he said.
"I want to try to make the Australian schoolboys team but if I'm thinking more down to earth I just want to be happy with the way that I play.
"I want to make sure that I'm bowling consistently and doing everything I can to give the team the best chance at winning.
"I'm expecting some really high-quality cricket. It's going to be pretty tough and I think our team will have to be very disciplined with bowling areas and batting time.”
Milburn always played cricket in the backyard with his brothers but it was not until he was 10 that he started playing competitively in Emerald.
He quickly emerged as a gifted paceman but it was several years later, upon returning to Rockhampton and going to Rockhampton Grammar School, that he started to focus on his batting.
Under the guidance of Grammar's Todd Wells and with a desire to fully develop his game, Milburn became an accomplished all-rounder.
"I do pride myself on bowling good areas and not giving the opposition much but then again being a good run scorer is pretty vital when it comes to the tougher games you play,” he said.
Milburn, who plays with Frenchville in the Rockhampton competition, believes his game went to the next level when he played with the North Queensland under-18 team in January.
"We played unbelievably against South Queensland and ended up beating them in both games we played them in,” he said.
"That was really satisfying and I tried to bring that form back to the local competition and thankfully it's been building from there.”
Milburn is also an outstanding rugby league player.
He has represented his state and was a member of the Grammar First XIII which won the Rockhampton District Secondary Schools Rugby League competition a fortnight ago.
"I enjoy them both and it's quite refreshing getting away from one sport and playing the other for five or so months and then alternating back,” he said.
"I think when I finish school I'm going to have to make a choice but at the moment I'm trying to give myself the best chance at both.
"Everyone has aspirations of reaching the highest level. It's not guaranteed that either sport will take me where I want to go but I'm quite happy just seeing where each one might lead me in the future.”