By Hayley Wildes
The Pastras name is well-known in local cricket circles and there’s another Pastras on the rise who is already making a name for himself.
Nick Pastras Jr, son of Upper Beaconsfield legend Nick Pastras, is just 15 years old, but already looks destined for greatness and was recently selected to the Victoria Country Under 15 team.
Pastras Jr will head off to the Sunshine Coast with his Victoria Country teammates next week to take part in the National Championships.
He really started to make some noise last year, when he had one of the better finishes to a season that anyone could wish for.
Not only did he win two premierships with Upper Beaconsfield in the West Gippsland Cricket Association – in Under 14s and E Grade – he also claimed man of the match honours in both deciders.
In the E Grade Grand Final, Pastras Jr was simply unstoppable. Taking on Cranbourne Meadows, he delivered a near-perfect innings to finish a century.
What made the win even more special was the fact that he put on a Premiership-winning 103-run stand with his Dad. The pair dominated and controlled the game to perfection, but Pastras Sr was run out for 59 and it’s something he doesn’t let his son forget about.
“He always has a go at me because he got run out and I always say if he was quicker he would’ve made it.” Pastras Jr said with a laugh.
Pastras Jr grew up with a cricket bat in his hands and began playing Milo Cricket at a very young age, but fell out of love with the game for a short time. Looking back on that period, he now sees how it helped him rediscover his love for the sport.
“I actually stopped playing when I was about 11 or 12, I hated it, I just preferred footy and tennis,” he said.
“Then the Big Bash started and I was watching that and loving it.
“My mates at school were playing and they needed a fill-in one day so I started playing again, got the bug for it and it’s just gone from there – I love it.”
Pastras Jr is now playing for Berwick in the Turf 1 Reserves and the South East Country Sharks in the Youth Premier League, as well as training with Premier club St Kilda.
The increased standard has driven his improvement and taking on some of the best cricketers in the state has been a great experience, as he explains.
“The standard is a lot higher and it’s a better experience playing on turf because that’s what all representative cricket is played on.”
“I’ve been training with St Kilda on Tuesday nights and again, the standard just goes higher and higher.
“The standard of the players and seeing how they go about it is really helpful and there is a heap to take in.”
Whilst he isn’t playing for Upper Beaconsfield anymore, Pastras Jr will be forever grateful for their support.
“They’ve been massive – they made me strive to play cricket hopefully for Australia one day,” he said.
“The people that I had supporting me at Upper Beaconsfield, they were just such an awesome club for me when I was there.”
The all-rounder is capable of turning a game on its head and when he lines up for Victoria Country next week, the rest of Australia had better watch out.