Sport

Bankstown all rounder Thomas Sowden becomes first millennial to play Sydney first-grade cricket

A young Bankstown cricketer has forever claimed a place among the rich 123-year history of the Sydney grade competition by becoming the first person born this millennium to play at the top level.  

Leg-spinning all-rounder Thomas Sowden, a teammate of Steve Waugh's son Austin in the Australian under-16s, filled in for an injured player for leaders Bankstown on day two of their match against Western Suburbs at Bankstown Memorial Oval.

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"There haven't been many that young to play first grade," said state talent manager David Freedman, who has worked with Sowden. "You're going back to guys like Michael Clarke or Phil Hughes.

"Tom's certainly an exciting young prospect. I don't want to make any bold predictions or put any pressure on him, but his skills set is terrific. He's been identified as someone who possesses many of the attributes we look for in players to potentially play at higher levels."

Young gun: Thomas Sowden is the first Sydney first-grade cricketer born in the 21st century.
Young gun: Thomas Sowden is the first Sydney first-grade cricketer born in the 21st century. Photo: Ben Rushton

Sowden - who was born on February 17, 2000 - was part of the NSW team that won last year's under-15s Schoolboys National Championship, and represented the Australian under-16s against Pakistan, scoring 91 in a one-dayer.

"He can bat anywhere in the top six, plays off either foot and he always plays with great intent," Freedman said.

Talented: Thomas Sowden can bat anywhere in the top six, plays off either foot and always plays with great intent, ...
Talented: Thomas Sowden can bat anywhere in the top six, plays off either foot and always plays with great intent, according to state talent manager David Freedman. Photo: Ben Rushton

"He bowls his leggies with good variety and control, spins it hard. Anyone who can bat in the top six and bowl good leg spinners makes themselves pretty selectable."

For the record, according to Cricket NSW, the first player born last century to play in the Sydney first grade competition was Arthur Phillip "Billy" Wells, who was born on September 4, 1900. Wells made his debut on October 30, 1915, and went on to play nine first class matches for NSW.