Burns hot for finals
HE is the only player to feature twice in Champion Player standings (CPS), and Cudgen captain Terry Wilson believes the “once-in-a-generation” cricketer could be the key to his side’s pending LJ Hooker League finals success.
Tait Burns has been an integral part of Cudgen’s successful season and their impressive run to the finals, and rocketed to second on the CPS after just seven games for the minor premiers.
The gun all-rounder has undoubtedly been one of the stand-outs on this year’s Tweed cricket scene, both at club and representative level.
The 21-year-old has ability to burn, but until relocating to Reg Dalton Oval early in the season following a stint as captain of South Tweed he only showed glimpses of the full potential that saw him rewarded with south-east Queensland rep honours.
Wilson said he hopes Burns can carry his form into this weekend’s semi-final clash with bitter rivals Ballina at Reg Dalton Oval.
“You can’t help but be impressed by Tait, he’s brilliant,” Wilson said.
“He’s the star that comes along once a generation.
“He’s enjoying his cricket, he’s confident and he’s talented, which is a lethal combination.
“He’ll be one of the guys I’ll be looking to stand up during the finals.”
A one-time party boy, Burns matured enormously throughout the back end of the 2010 season under the guidance of then South Tweed skipper Jack Boote.
His transformation off field quickly flowed into his performances on field, and Boote repeatedly credited the efforts of his protege and soon-to-be replacement.
At the start of this season Burns took the reins at Colts and guided his charges through the opening four rounds undefeated before stumbling to Alstonville in the fifth.
However while his side were getting results, Burns’ personal form had taken a dive.
Generally regarded as a bats-man, it was his bowling that kept him sane, claiming 17-207 from the 75 overs he took upon himself while managing an average of just 15.3 with the bat.
With the captaincy seemingly weighing heavily on his performances in an inconsistent batting line-up, Burns opted to fly the coup in round six and began his career at Cudgen the following week alongside many of his Tweed District teammates.
Although he opened with a duck against Ballina, he picked himself up to snare 3-15 from the five overs Wilson gave him and instantly established himself in the powerhouse side.
He has since continued to improve and impress, notching up figures of 8, 14, 24 not out, 48, 48, 26no and 101no with the bat and 2-11, 0-13 6-6, 1-21, 1-9, 5-21 and 0-14 with the ball, taking his overall statistics to a 53.8 batting average and 18-110 from 42-over bowling record.
“I’ve known Tait a while and watched his rise in first grade, but he’s never been much of bowler until late,” Wilson said.
“He was never known for it, but I’ll tell you what, he puts it in the right place more than just about anybody. He’s so consistent and reliable.
“And the best thing is he’s finding his touch again with the bat as well, which is the most important thing because he’s always been a talent in that department.”
The action begins at Cudgen from 1pm on Saturday.