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Given who his father is, deciding to become a wicketkeeper was always going to bring a fair bit of attention on young cricketer Tom Healy.
The son of legendary former Test gloveman Ian was earlier this week named in Australia’s under-19 squad to tour Sri Lanka next month.
The 17-year-old Brisbane schoolboy began his sporting life as a golfer but eventually found his way to cricket, where it seems he was destined to don the gloves.
“It was just a thing through junior cricket, that no one else wanted to give it (wicketkeeping) a crack anymore so it just got lugged on me,” Healy told AAP.
“It just kept evolving and it’s a bit of fun.”
As Queensland under-17s captain, Healy’s big break came in 2012 when Ben Dunk headed to Tasmania for more first-class opportunities.
Dunk’s departure left an opening in first grade at Healy’s Northern Suburbs club in Brisbane, which the then 16-year-old took on.
Two summers on and Healy is poised to follow in his father’s footsteps – Ian was a member of the Australian under-19 team in 1983.
He’ll be the third member of the Healy family to represent Australia, with cousin Alyssa Healy a long-time member of the women’s international set-up, including winning this year’s world Twenty20 title in Bangladesh.
“Dad’s family would have grown up with a strong background of enjoying cricket and it’s just been passed on through the kids, I’d say,” he said.
Tom admits having a legendary wicketkeeper available at home is handy, but he also knows his name guarantees nothing in the long run.
“To be selected to go to Sri Lanka and play for my country, I see as a massive opportunity to show what I have to offer but I’m also aware that many Australian under-19 players get picked in this situation and don’t go on to play first-class cricket.
“A lot more hard work to come and keep enjoying the journey that it takes me on.”
Tom’s father played six of his 119 Tests in Sri Lanka, and has been forthcoming with advice on how to handle the at-times taxing conditions keepers can face on the island nation.
“He keeps it very simple,” Tom said.
“If you’re doing your basics right, you’ll go a long way … just being able to adapt while you’re over there, have some fun and enjoy what gets thrown at you.”
The Australian under-19 tour of Sri Lanka begins on September 25 and features five one-day matches before concluding with a three-day match in Colombo.