Captain fantastic



Dylan Nicholas is a captain of cricket teams.

He doesn’t know why, but except for his first year in the 1st team at Hurleyvale Primary – when he was in grade 6 – he has captained every team he has ever played in.

So, naturally, he was captain of the under-14A team in his first year at Jeppe High School for Boys and this year he led the under-15As.

And they were two very good years. As under-14s the team wer unbeaten – and their fixture list included just about every one of the top cricketing schools in the land – and this year they lost just three games.

Speaking to Dylan about those achievements immediately gives you an idea about why he is always the captain. He is a thinker, and he knows the game. “Some of the games last year were close and could have gone either way,” he said. “Two of those results went against us this year. In the third, against KES, we were well beaten by a team with good players who were very good on the day.”

The team was fortunate, four days later, to meet KES again in the u-15 Johnny Waite final and they turned the tables on them. Converting a 100-run loss in a 50-over game on Saturday into a 30-run win in a T20 game the next Wednesday, which translates into a victory of similar magnitude.

“We were hurting after that loss to KES and they must have been a bit over-confident, so we went in the more determined team, I think,” Dylan said.

“Our coach Mr Hummel made it clear that we had it in us to beat them and the players responded.”

He downplays his role as captain, but clearly his philosophy played a part. “I don’t think players should be allowed to lose focus and make silly mistakes on the field, but you should not come down on them if they do something wrong in the game. I believe in encouraging players, that gets the best out of them.”

His reading of the game – he reels off fielding positions and clearly understands playing conditions and match situations – is very impressive and is clearly part of the team’s success.

And he has a good read on his coaches too. “Mr Laing is a technical expert. He taught us the basics, individual and team, last year, and insisted on everyone doing the right thing,” he said. “Mr Hummel has a great cricket mind. He asks me questions all the time. He describes a situation and asks me what I would do. That makes me think and has made me a better captain this year.”

Dylan Nicholas is an obvious leader of men, one who will surely achieve big things in the years to come. We are lucky to have him.