He's following in the footsteps of one of his greatest cricketing heroes, Adam Gilchrist.
Eighteen-year-old Wentworth Falls spin bowler Alex Crowther leaves later this month for a six-month cricket and cultural exchange program to Sussex in England, a scholarship previously awarded to Gilchrist, Phil Jaques, Stephen O'Keefe, Trent Johnston and Joe Mennie.
As this year's recipient of the NSW Country Cricket BBM (Big Brother Movement) English Cricket Scholarship, he will spend the northern summer playing cricket for the premier league club Haywards Heath in the Sussex League, just south of London, developing his cricket and also teaching cricket in the school.
He's the first Blue Mountains cricketer to be awarded the prestigious $8000 scholarship.
"There's a pathway there and that's what I'm really excited about," Alex told the Gazette.
"Adam Gilchrist is one of the greatest wicketkeeper/batsmen of all time. He's a hero of many and a hero of mine, and Phil Jaques is a formidable cricketer, and to be following in their footsteps is such a honour."
Alex was nominated earlier this year by Blue Mountains Cricket Association CEO Ian Strudwick and the appointment was supported by the western zone.
"It was surreal," Alex said after being offered the scholarship last week. "I didn't think I'd win it."
Dad, Dave Crowther, said the family "was so grateful to Ian for identifying it to Alex.
"Alex has worked long and hard but there's also been a lot of good coaches and mentors along the way."
Bruce Whitehouse, the operations manager of Country Cricket, said the scholarship was "really difficult [to get], it's very competitive and much sought after.
"There were nominations right across the state, we determined Alex was the best.
"Alex has been a consistent performer in various age country programs - since the 14s," he said.
Mr Whitehouse said BBM Ltd had been great supporters of cricket, offering a city and country scholarship since 1988. The program gave recipients "a chance to hone their skills in a different playing environment and a great chance for their life skills".
"They [Haywards Heath] will look after him like a king, with accommodation and meals. I don't know who is more excited, Alex or his dad."
Alex finished high school last year at Blue Mountains Grammar and was taking a year off before starting an exercise and health science course at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. He's been completing a personal training course and also working part-time for Cricket NSW teaching in schools.
"The cricket is a little bit different [in England] but ... my cricket is only going to grow," Alex said.
Nominated by western zone, he played his first game in first grade at 13 as a leg spinner and now both spins and bats.
"I wouldn't have got this without one or the other [skill]," he said.
Alex bats at first drop and is a skillful runner between the wickets. He came second in the NSW All Schools carnival for 800 metres last year and qualified for the Australian junior titles.
The $8000 scholarship covers his airfares and insurance and leave him plenty of pocket money. He flies out on April 22 and will play in the Northern Hemisphere summer competition beginning in May.
Mr Whitehouse said he hoped Alex made full use of the opportunity, progressing as a cricketer and a young man.
"It's up to the young fella," he said. "Some come back and perform - some it's not their thing and they decide to do other things. It's up to him."
Alex will return in September where he hopes to receive an offer to play in the Sydney grade competition.
"I definitely hope it will be my future, that would be unreal," he said.
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