The Beatles song "The long and winding road" would have been an appropriate tune for Tom MacRury to hum, as he went out to bat in his professional cricket debut on Saturday.

Selection for the Canterbury Kings in their encounter against the Auckland Aces in the NZ Cricket Super Smash, saw Tom MacRury fulfill one of his ambitions of playing in a NZC Major Association match.

A graduate of the Western Bay of Plenty junior cricket pathway, Tom started to make waves in the game when he earned selection in the West Australian Under 16 side, when his family relocated over the ditch a decade ago.

A family return home saw Tom slot into one of the nurseries of school cricket in the country at Tauranga Boys' College.

The opening batsman played a prominent role in Tauranga Boys' winning Baywide silverware for the first time, when the TBC first eleven won the BOPCA Twenty 20 championship in 2012.

Known as "The Mox" or "Moxy" by his Greerton team mates owing to his Moa-like height and Ox-like girth, the talented youngster made a splash on the local cricket scene, when he was selected for the Northern Knights wider squad in 2014.

While on the fringes of the Knights and number of appearances for Northern Districts A, it was to be five years and thousands of kilometers before Tom would achieve his dream of playing professional cricket.

Fifty-five Bay of Plenty senior men's representative appearances, which produced 1712 runs, became the springboard to continue Tom's desire to play the professional game.

Two seasons ago, MacRury followed in the footsteps of a number of Bay players, when he journeyed to the UK to hone his skills in the home of cricket.

The young man made an indelible impression, turning out for Scholes Cricket Club in the top echelon of Huddersfield (Yorkshire) League cricket.

The magical mark of 1000 runs (plus) and an additional 42 wickets, were topped off with a new Scholes first team highest score of 226 not out, which included a massive thirty 4's and nine 6's.

Last winter, Tom took a different path in his New Zealand off-season cricket journey, traveling to Darwin, Australia, to play for the Waratah Cricket Club in the Northern Territory Cricket League.

Another outstanding batting performance had the locals sitting up and taking notice, when he hammered 164 off just one hundred balls.

This time, thirteen 6's and twelve 4's, saw Tom set the highest score of the 2018 NT League competition.

Unable to break into the ND professional ranks, Tom rolled the dice and travelled to Christchurch, in an attempt to play for Canterbury.

Sterling premier club form and selection for Canterbury A with plenty of runs flowing, resulted in MacRury finally making his NZC Major Association debut last Saturday.

Not yet in his mid-twenties, who knows where Tom’s representative honours will take him, with perhaps a contracted professional career waiting in the wings.


Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian