After years of being in the top echelon of Victorian Premier Cricket run-scorers, a Ryder Medal, and an astounding average of 91.33 this season, James Seymour is a first-class cricketer.
That’s not to mention his century against a Victorian State Squad side, his century for Randwick-Petersham in a brief NSW Grade Cricket stint, as well as his three centuries in the Northern Territory. And that’s only taking into account the past year alone.
Seymour’s journey was equally unconventional and remarkable, his drive to reach the next level unrivalled.
As revealed in his interview with cricket.com.au, he’s played in four states and territories, and hasn’t lived in the same place for more than six months at a time in the past decade. All while keeping himself afloat working in casinos, at waterparks, and even as an Uber Eats driver. Talk about driven.
If a player as prolific at the level below as Seymour couldn’t get an opportunity for Victoria, what hope did any player outside the pathway system have?
Seymour was, of course, overlooked for the Victorian Under 17 and 19 sides, making opportunities far harder to come by.
He was on the ‘outer’ and had to get noticed. Good performances wouldn’t cut it. He needed great performances, and lots of them.
His inclusion in the Melbourne Stars squad was a good sign, but with every passing Sheffield Shield game concerns grew that the state call-up would never come.
If not now, then when? Seymour’s in career-best form, the noise grew louder and louder, and fortunately it didn’t fall on deaf ears.
By picking Seymour, the Victorian selectors didn’t just reward his years of hard work, they sent a message to all cricketers to never give up on their dream.
It’s also important to consider Seymour’s age. In a time where the future too often trumps the here and now, it’s easy to disregard a 29-year-old in favour of a young kid that could be ‘the next big thing’.
But most cricketers peak on the other side of 30, when they’ve matured, and understand their game.
Seymour’s selection re-instilled a fading hope in all the battlers craving that opportunity, in all the young kids who missed out on representative teams: keep the faith, keep performing, your time will come.
It doesn’t matter if you weren’t an underage star, it doesn’t matter how old you are – the door can be banged down.
‘Refuse to lose’ seemed to be the theme last season for the rebuilding Victorians, as they begrudgingly saw off their competition to finish second in the Sheffield Shield, only to fall short in the final to a powerful Western Australia line-up.