Big things are expected from the University of Wollongong cricket team competing at the UniSport Nationals in Adelaide from November 20-24.
Team captain Elijah Hurley said UOW had assembled a strong squad for the T20 competition which will see 42 universities from all over Australia compete for the top prize.
The hard-hitting all-rounder is one of many Illawarra grade cricketers in UOW's squad.
Hurley said Luke Huard, the first-grade captain of Illawarra club University, was perhaps the most experienced and talented player in UOW's squad.
"We have a pretty strong squad but so do a lot of the other universities around the country," he said.
"We're going there trying to win and we'll do our best to do that but we're aware there's a lot of strong teams.
"From our perspective it's just about trying to play our best cricket and hope that's enough to get us over the line."
The 2022 men's champions UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) are amongst the favourites this year as well.
Hurley spoke to the Mercury about the UniSport Nationals on the same day UOW global brand ambassador Adam Gilchrist dropped by the Wollongong campus to help launch the Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Scholarship for students from Pakistan.
Hurley, a 2023 VC Leadership Scholarship recipient who is currently undertaking a double degree in Bachelor of Economics and Finance - Bachelor of Laws, said he loved watching Gilchrist bat, adding he modelled his own game on one of Australia's best ever wicket-keeper/batters.
"Gilly is a big inspiration," he said.
"When I was in under 12s, I walked for the first time, and that was inspired by him.
"I saw a YouTube video where he walked with integrity. I remember when I snicked the ball for the very first time and the umpire gave it not out, I just felt too bad, I trod off the field.
"It's not only that but he is also just a great cricketer. He has great footwork and just seizes the game and big opportunities and that's what I'm inspired by.
"I have a similar batting role to him in the sense that I come in when the team needs me towards the end, maybe hit a couple of bombs if I need to. I don't mind batting and slogging sixes.
"A hundred per cent he is one of my idols for sure."
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