Call up down to patience

Tuesday, Mar 16 2021

Call up down to patience

Will Johnston

Performance and luck, that’s what Taranaki batsman Will Young puts his one-day international call up down to.

This week, the 28-year-old was selected in the Blackcaps’ squad to play Bangladesh in three one-dayers starting in Dunedin next weekend.

He was one of three potential debutants, joining Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell.

While Young believes he’s capable of making the step up, he bided his time on the domestic front.

“You have to prove yourself. That’s through performances, the right mindset and always looking to improve and do things right,” he said.

“Also, you got to have a bit of luck on your side and strike form at the right time when there are injuries or when someone at the top is out of form.”

It seems like Young is part of the New Zealand cricket furniture for a while after he racked up 80 first-class and 61 List A matches since making his debut in 2012.

His international debut came earlier this summer with a test against the West Indies and Pakistan. Young was selected in the side to play Bangladesh in March 2019, but the match was cancelled after the Christchurch mosque shootings.

But while Young waited in the wings, he contributed to the Central Stags as captain, which he admits also culminated in his selection.

“We’ve won Ford Trophies and Super Smashes and I feel I’ve been an integral part of that.”

Young was also part of the increased New Zealand A programme, with overseas tours to India and Pakistan before Covid.

He credits the programme for giving him experience in preparation for the international level.

“I’ve taken some opportunities and risen through the A programme,” he said.

“If you put the work in over a period of time and build up some significant performances that contribute to the team winning, you put your name in lights and hopefully Gav [selector Gavin Larsen] or whoever the selector might be, takes notice of that.”

He said the A programme was a perfect breeding ground for the next generation of Blackcaps, especially if players were knocking on the international door.

“It’s full-on international opposition because a touring side wants game time before their international games start.”

He said the transition into international cricket wasn’t much of a leap because players were playing at a similar level.

Young will finish the latest round of the Plunket Shield with the Stags before joining the Blackcaps squad on Wednesday.

And for being named in the playing XI?

“It’ll be a matter of getting to the ground on the day and [the coach] deciding which XI will take the park.”