If you were to look for a way to impress a county with a view to gaining a professional contract, then South Australian Michael Cranmer did just that for Derbyshire's second team against Lancashire second eleven today.
Cranmer, a professional for Hoylandswaine Cricket Club in the Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League, made a stunning 171 from 221 balls as his side replied to Lancashire's 252 all out with 391-9. Tom Knight made 46 and Harvey Hosein 56. but it was all-rounder Cranmer, who bowls fast-medium, who caught the eye with a stunning display.
25 years old, he qualifies to play in the UK through an ancestral visa and, according to his club side's website, is assessing his future options at present after stunning success over three summers for them.
In his first year he scored 667 runs at 33, as well as taking 70 wickets at 17 each. A shorter stint in 2012 saw him score 500 runs at 38, along with 26 wickets at 19, while 2013 saw 335 runs at 33 and 50 wickets at 13.
This year he returned as captain and has been in spectacular form, taking his side to the allrounder.com T20 final last week with an extraordinary 138 from just 52 balls, with ten fours and fourteen sixes. His season highest score for the club is 186...
Having played for South Australia and Australia Under-19s, the pedigree is there. Hat tricks, five-wicket hauls and centuries litter his career in A Grade and state second eleven cricket and he seems a player of genuine talent.
Certainly, I would suggest - and not just on the basis of today's century, but on an excellent track record in two countries so far - he would be a very shrewd addition to the Derbyshire staff. I have no doubt that the Yorkshire connections on our coaching staff have been instrumental in getting him to Derby on trial, John Sadler having played for the same club. The next step would appear to get in for him quickly, before someone else does.
A hard-hitting batsman and fast medium bowler.
What's not to like?
PS If anyone from Hoylandswaine Cricket Club comes across this piece, I'd love to hear from you!