IGS mates form Queensland bond
AS BEST of friends and fine cricketers, the combination of Harry Wood and Ben Maynard is a great strength for the Queensland under 17 team.
The Ipswich Grammar School pair has been chosen in the Queensland under 17 team to contest national titles in Brisbane from September 28.
Sixteen-year-old Wood has represented Queensland at under 15 and 16 level while Maynard, who is still only 15, has represented his state at under 15 level.
It is a very different looking team to the Queensland under 16 side of last year, with Wood just one of four backing up.
"We're pretty solid," Wood said. "Especially our batting."
Central to that are Wood and Maynard.
Wood is likely to open, as he did for club side Laidley in the first part of last season.
Maynard, who opens for the IGS 1st XI, for whom Wood bats at first drop, is happy to play wherever required.
"I want to win as many games for Queensland as possible," he said.
"If that's batting at number five or running the water I'm happy.
"It's a great opportunity.
"It's a learning curve, this carnival.
"I'll definitely learn a lot off the older boys and the maturity of the group."
One of those is Wood, who was vice-captain of the under 16s last year and has become one of Maynard's best friends at school.
It is why Maynard feels so privileged to be representing Queensland alongside him.
"He's my best mate for starters," Maynard said.
"We share the same passion for cricket.
"Playing for IGS is something special.
"To take that to nationals is perfect."
Wood's older Brother Jack also represented Queensland throughout the junior age groups and had the distinction of representing Australia at under 15 level.
But Wood is not going into the nationals thinking of anything more than doing his best for his state.
"It's definitely not in the forefront of my mind," he said of any possible national selection.
"I want to win games for Queensland and will take it game by game."
Maynard and Harry Wood are part of a group of cricketers at Ipswich Grammar School ready to give the GPS competition a good shake this coming season.
They are two of six who are backing up from last summer.
The others are batsmen Sula Fernando and Noah van der Werken and all-rounders Damien Brandley and Lachlan Vellacott.
Maynard is one in particular who expects to benefit from last year's experience in his school's 1st XI.
"It was a big step from year nines to 1st XV," he said.
"It's good to have had that experience with the boys who had I looked up to as year nine student."