Former Victoria allrounder Alex Keath could sample both cricket and Aussie Rules this summer, according to a Fairfax report.
Keath was de-listed by Cricket Victoria at the conclusion of last summer, but is currently plying his trade in English league cricket.
The 23-year-old debuted in first-class cricket in December 2010, having chosen the summer sport as a career path over an offer from the then fledgling AFL club Gold Coast Suns.
Following his axing in April, it was rumoured that up to 14 AFL clubs were still interested in the services of the 197cm athlete, but now a report has said the Adelaide Crows are believed to be a frontrunner to exploring the possibility of Keath doing some pre-season training with the club.
According to the report in today’s (Monday’s) The Age, the arrangement would involve Keath playing cricket with South Australia before launching into summer training with the Crows.
That scenario would be dependent on Keath pushing his case for Redbacks honours, potentially via his link to the club through high performance manager Tim Nielsen, with whom he has worked under at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.
In April, Cricket Victoria operations manager Shaun Graf insisted Keath wasn’t about to switch allegiances – a message the young star has reportedly continued to deliver to prospective AFL suitors.
“My discussions with Alex strongly suggest he will remain dedicated to his cricketing dream,” Graf told News Ltd four months ago. “He is a single-minded young man who wants to make it in cricket.
“He is the sort of kid you would expect to make a second coming and everyone who knows him hopes that is the case because he is such a good lad.”
Cricket Australia’s General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard last year spoke with cricket.com.au about the importance of cricket retaining high-quality junior talent as the battle with the football codes intensified.
“I think we have a lot to offer, but it is competitive,” Howard said. “Australia has 20 million people and we’ve got more professional leagues than pretty much every other country in the world.
“So we have to make sure that kids who want to be cricketers, we have to make sure we’ve got a really strong offering.
“And we’re not going to exclude them from playing other sports. We think that’s a really important part of our national development and our national duty to have great sports right across the country.
“But the ones we want to play cricket, we want to make sure we have a really good offering for them.”