Parmenter gets nod to represent NSW Country
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
COFFS Hotel Tigers batsman Daryl Parmenter has become only the third cricketer from Coffs Harbour to be selected in the NSW Country team.
Parmenter returned to Coffs Harbour earlier this year with many seasons of first grade experience in Sydney with Randwick-Petersham behind him and his talent has not taken long to catch the eye of Country selectors.
The Bush Blues will be heading to Mandurah in Western Australia at the start of January for the Australian Country Cricket Championships.
You can bet though that the 12 days the team is spending in the WA south coast town won't be treated like a boys' trip away. Parmenter says the team is heading over meaning business.
"It's a goal to win back the Country Championship, which we lost last year," the 31 year-old said.
"There's plenty of Sydney first grade experience in our side. I think seven of the 13 have played first grade which will be a luxury that they haven't had in years. On paper I think it's a really good side."
Parmenter cemented his place in the team just over a week ago with a string of solid performances with both the bat and gloves when he was captain of the North Coast team.
His name was pushed in front of the selectors with a half century and two scores in the 40s over the three days.
Although hoping to get selected in the Country team, at no stage did he feel his selection was a certainty.
"It was 50/50. I thought I'd batted well and I thought I'd kept well the first couple of days but the third day I sort of struggled due to fatigue," he admitted.
"I was confident but not confident because the other keeper there went 40, 100, 100 but he's been picked as a batsman.
"John Sullivan the director of Country Cricket rang me Sunday and he said you've been selected for the Country side and rattled off the team.
"He said that I had to be in Sydney for December 4 for the final rounds of the Country Cup and then I'm off to WA."
For all his achievements in the past, Parmenter rates his selection right up there at the pinnacle of his career.
"I've got great respect for any of the Country boys that are playing cricket, it's sort of your highest accolade," he said.
"Also it's great for me because my father played for NSW Country and I'm the only one of the kids to do it so it's also a personal honour.
"I told Dad Sunday night and he was very proud."
One problem for Parmenter is the fact he has not had much chance to practise his keeping skills this season.
He is yet to don the gloves on a Saturday for the Tigers and he's desperately seeking some match fitness before he heads west for the 100 overs a day that he'll need to keep for.
"I'm going to be putting in some work now so I'll be right to go," he said.