‘It’s not often you move country and win a trophy on your first go’
Chare Smith helped his Hurley’s Hotel Hounds side to their first Goulburn Valley Bush Bash League title in Victoria, Australia, last weekend.
The 25-year-old all-rounder was thrilled to be part of the team who thumped Jarvis Delahey Crushers by seven wickets in the grand final of the T20 competition at Deakin Reserve on Sunday.
“I am overjoyed to be honest,” an elated Smith told The Royal Gazette. “It’s not that often that you move to countries to play a sport and win trophies on your first go at it.”
Hounds captain Michael Archer and Cameron Stevenson both claimed four wickets for nine runs as Crushers were dismissed for just 83 after choosing to bat first.
Paul Newman (42 not out) and Jack Potticary (31 not out) then led the chase as Hounds reached their target after overcoming an early wobble with 21 balls to spare.
“It was a real team effort. Everyone contributed in every game so it felt good to end the tournament with a final win and trophy,” Smith added.
The Hounds went unbeaten in the competition with Smith making an impact with his right-arm seam after overcoming early-season jitters.
“The first game I was nervous. It was a big day for me get the chance to play with, and against, professional cricketers,” he said.
“After my first over, I settled in and managed to get a wicket and my team trusted me with the last over and we came out with a victory and a win, which always gives you momentum going forward.
“The second game I was more comfortable and took advantage of the wicket and situation and was able to produce my best T20 figures of four for 11.”
The former Bermuda Under-19 player’s services were not required in Sunday’s final as his team’s spinners kept the opposition’s batsmen under wraps.
“Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to bowl in the final because the spinners did the job, but I was happy just with winning,” Smith added.
The grandson and nephew of former St George’s Cup Match duo Robert Simons and Ken Pitcher was a guest player for Hounds as he plays regularly with John McMahon Shield A Grade side Kyabram Fire Brigade Cricket Club.
The former St David’s all-rounder has adjusted well to the playing conditions in Australia after spending the past few seasons in England with Bristol City and District Premier League side Frenchay Cricket Club.
“I have been playing in England for 5-6 years now and it took a while to adjust to the conditions,” Smith said.
“Coming from England, where the wickets don’t really bounce and carry, I had to get used to these fast-bouncing wickets. I have to pitch the ball up more here.”
The former St George’s Cup Match player, who has also represented St David’s in the Eastern Counties, is set to return to England to play for new club Uphill Castle when the Australian season concludes and is looking forward to the experience.
“My main focus is helping my new team win the league,” added Smith, who signed with Uphill last month. “My long-term goals are to play at the highest level in county cricket and franchise cricket. I still have some work to do but I’m hoping the hard work I have put in pays off.”
Smith also has not ruled out representing Bermuda again in the future.
“I am always looking for the opportunity to represent Bermuda,” he said. “I’m just patiently waiting for the call-up.”
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