Tamworth's newest national representative has returned from the International Cricket Inclusion Series with a treasured new possession, some wonderful memories and a renewed motivation to continue to work hard on his game.
Nat Young was part of the Australia intellectual disability (ID) squad that took on the old enemy across a series of five T20s and three one-dayers.
The first time the South Tamworth allrounder has padded up for his country, Nat's father Mark said it was a "wonderful experience" for the 29-year old.
"The whole thing was great," he said.
"And Nat did really well.
"He was involved in two 50-plus run partnerships and came fourth in both the batting average and aggregate for the Aussies."
England won the series comfortably to retain the Ashes but the Aussies did pull off a win in one of the T20s.
"It came down to the last ball," Mark recalled.
"England needed three runs and they didn't get it."
The first win they've had over the Poms in seven or so years, understandably there was a lot of excitement in the dressing room after the game and some "very enthusiastic" if not "quite tuneful" singing.
On a more personal note, one of the highlights was the cap presentation.
"It was very special," Mark said.
"He felt really honoured to be playing for Australia and just a sense of all the hard work over many years, he's reached the pinnacle."
For him, the emotion was then further amplified, watching Nat out in the middle with his Australian team-mates for the anthems.
"Seeing him standing out there and singing as they played the anthem was just unbelievable," Mark said.
"It was an incredibly proud and emotional moment."
He still gets choked up a bit reflecting on it.
Mark said the experience has only whet Nat's appetite for another opportunity.
"It's now about growing from what he's learnt," he said.
"He wants to work hard, because the next one is meant to be a tour of England."
In the more immediate, he has the national championships in January.
Before that, the avid golfer will swap the willow for the clubs and play for the NSW team at the National Games. They are in Launceston in October.
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