Wednesday, July 17, 2024

WACA: From Perth to the International Stage

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Photo Credit: Western Australian Cricket Association

Growing up playing cricket in Perth, there aren’t too many junior cricketers that get to play for their country. Brothers Kiefer and Lachlan Yamamoto- Lake have recently been given the opportunity to live out their dream, but not in the conventional way that most would expect.

The pair, who spent their junior days at the Willetton District Cricket Club have been fortunate enough to represent their mother’s country of birth in recent months, with both chosen to represent Japan.

Kiefer was selected to play in the recent Under 19s ICC World Cup Qualifiers where he was a standout performer, taking 17 wickets at an average of 8.71 in just six matches.

His tournament included an amazing 7/11 against Vanuatu and three wickets against the highly fancied New Zealand.

He was part of a successful Japanese side, with the associate nation winning five of their six matches, and Kiefer finishing as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker.

What made his performances more incredible was the fact that Kiefer only recently returned to the game of cricket earlier this year, after spending the last two years pursuing other interests, including represented WA in both indoor and beach volleyball.

The 18-year-old has been a player of immense promise since a young age, after being picked to represent Western Australia in the Under 12s Boys National Cricket Championships.

Talent runs in the family, with older brother Lachlan currently representing Japan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Papua New Guinea.

Lachlan has become a regular in the team since he made his debut in October 2022, already notching 11 matches for Japan.

He is also highly regarded at his Premier Club Willetton, with the 20-year-old regularly playing in the club’s top two grades after making his seniors debut during the 2017-18 season.

Kiefer and Lachlan aren’t the only WA cricketers who have shone on the international stage for their adopted nations, with current domestic cricketers Cameron Gannon (USA) and Tim David (Singapore) among many who built their careers through a similar pathway. 

From backyard battles to the big stage, it certainly has been a hell of a journey and who knows we could see the names Kiefer and Lachlan Yamamoto – Lake against Australia in a major tournament in the future.

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