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Going into bat for team brings own rewards for promising Taranaki cricketer

Taila Hurley donated her own cricket bat to her team's kit bag and then was given a new one by Craig Gibson of ANZ New Plymouth South.
Taila Hurley donated her own cricket bat to her team's kit bag and then was given a new one by Craig Gibson of ANZ New Plymouth South.

When rising cricket star Taila Hurley, 17 noticed her team's cricket gear was getting a bit old she decided to give them her bat. Luckily she soon got given another one worth $400.

The Sacred Heart Girls College (SHGC) student and talented cricketer received a brand new Kookaburra bat and a cricket ball courtesy of ANZ's Dream Delivery grant scheme,  which aims to distribute over $800,000 in cricket-related community grants around New Zealand. 

After being presented with her gear she was just happy to have her own bat again. "I needed a new bat, our team's gear was getting a bit old, but I've got my own one now." 

Hurley first became interested in the game because her Mum Jill played for the White Ferns.  She started playing cricket herself in Year 7 at school but with the whole family into the game she had been playing at home long before that. "I've got three brothers so there was always heaps of backyard games," she said

These games helped her make the Central Districts under 15's when she was just 11 years old and she has been making rep teams ever since. Hurley currently plays for Sacred Heart, both the Taranaki under-18 and women's sides and the Central Districts under-18 side. While cricket occupies a lot of her time, she is also a talented hockey player. 

"I'm not that good at hockey, but I made a rep team so Mum made me choose one sport, but my cricket skills have definitely helped me in hockey."  "The hand–eye coordination skill and just hitting the ball are all similar" she said. At the moment all Hurley's focus is on cricket, which sees her training up to four times a week in a bid to make the Central Districts U-21 side she missed out on last year.

She also has big plans for the future and aims to requalify to attend Michael Clarke's cricket academy in Australia next year after finances meant she could not attend this year. "But I'm fundraising for next year," she said. 

Her other plans include playing in the Big Bash in Australia and she said her ultimate dream was playing for the White Ferns.   Hurley's advice to young cricketers: Work hard and you can do anything.