Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sydney Thunder: Childhood hero gives McAndrew big tick

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Photo Credit: Sydney Thunder

Shane Lee praises McAndrew’s rise during BBL|10

When Nathan McAndrew played for the Oak Flats Rats in Cricket Illawarra’s junior competition, he and his mates were inspired to try to emulate the feats of local heroes Shane and Brett Lee, who graduated from the club’s ranks to Australia’s national team.

Brett Lee established himself as one of the world’s premier pace bowlers who captured 310 wickets, his older brother Shane wore the green and gold in 45 One Day Internationals and he captained NSW.

Their feats were celebrated in Oak Flats with two cricket fields being named in their honour, which, in McAndrews’s eyes added to the pair’s lustre.

The rise and rise of McAndrew during this summer’s Big Bash League tournament hasn’t escaped the attention of plenty of people, including Shane Lee, who declared there was plenty to like about the 27-year-old who, in between taking wickets and clearing pickets, is studying engineering at university.

“He’s a really good talent,” said Lee, who was a member of Australia’s 1996 and 1999 World Cup squads. “I saw [against Melbourne Renegades] where he hit three sixes and took the first wicket.

“I think from a batting perspective he’s a really clean hitter; very balanced when he hits the ball – but what really takes my eye is his bowling.

“He’s really high action, he seems to generate really good pace, he has good control and with his action he bowls straight clean lines.

“Nathan has good variations, a good bouncer and a good slower ball. There’s a lot to like there, definitely.”

McAndrew, who has vague memories of being six-years-old and watching Lee play in the match that celebrated the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Rats, said it was “flattering” to learn that he’s on the former international’s radar.

“He’s obviously someone I admired growing up, coming from the same club,” McAndrew said. “He’s someone who, I think, had a similar game to me as well, being a hard-hitting all-rounder [batting] towards the end of the innings.”

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