Doran blazes his way to a contract with Blues

Jake Doran, sixteen year old cricketer, who has been selected to play for the Chairmans XI against England. SPORT photo: Marco Del Grande on November 14, 2013

Jake Doran, sixteen year old cricketer, who has been selected to play for the Chairmans XI against England. SPORT photo: Marco Del Grande on November 14, 2013

Jake Doran of New South Wales bats during the U19 Championship match between New South Wales and Northern Territory at Kingston Twin Ovals. Picture: Getty Images

Jake Doran of New South Wales bats during the U19 Championship match between New South Wales and Northern Territory at Kingston Twin Ovals. Picture: Getty Images

NOT many 17-year-olds would sacrifice a century for their country in favour of team success.

Then again Fairfield-Liverpool star Jake Doran is not your normal teenager.

Doran, who last week was awarded a rookie contract with NSW, was on the verge of his maiden century in the green and gold at the under-19s World Cup earlier this year. With one over to go and a quarter-finals spot on the line, the left-hander gave the green light to partner Tom Andrews to swing the willow.

The end result was Australia won the game and Doran was left stranded on 99 not out.

He wouldn't have had it any other way.

"I didn't see it as I missed out on a century; I saw it us getting an extra 20 runs and us winning the game," he said.

"That could have been the difference between a win and a loss so I was happy to put the team first in that situation."

It is that mature head combined with his freakish ability with both bat and ball that has many good judges — including former Test captain Greg Chappell — predicting big things for the wicketkeeper-batsman.

It's little surprise his cricket resume is full of highlights. These include:

■ He is the youngest player ever to represent the NSW second XI.

■ He is also the second youngest player in Sydney Cricket Association history to play first grade.

■ A regular in NSW under-17s, NSW under-19s teams and part of the Australian under-19s team.

But his highlight to date is being selected for the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI to play against Alastair Cook's England in a tour match at Alice Springs last year.

"It is something I will always look back on with pride," he said.

"Now to make the NSW squad is a dream come true. It took a while to hit me but now I'm excited and something I've always wanted since I started playing cricket when I was six."

The summer may be over, but cricket doesn't stop for Doran.

In what is shaping as a busy year, he will split his time between year 12 studies at Hills Sports High and the elite National Performance Squad in Brisbane.

"My goal is to hopefully push for a spot for my NSW debut but that depends on how my pre-season goes," he said.

"I also have set myself a goal to dominate grade cricket this year for Fairfield-Liverpool."

- Simon Grove won the major award at the Fairfield Liverpool annual cricket dinner.

Grove won the Grant Lambert Medal for player of the season for his role in helping the fourth grade team make the semi-finals.

Kieran Elley was won the Anthony Clark medal for rookie of the year, taking more than 35 wickets in his first year in first grade.

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