Cobden Timboon Coast Times
Simpson set for top grade return

SIMPSON’S English imports Craig Brown and Ellis Mort have one simple goal for their maiden Australian summer – to improve the Tigers as much as they can.

Brown, a 25 year-old opening batsman and Mort, a 23 year-old bowling all-rounder have joined the Tigers for a taste of cricket abroad having played the majority of their careers in England’s north west.

They came to Simpson on the back of a connection with the club, with the pair landing in Australia just before AFL grand final day.

So far they are enjoying their Aussie experience apart from the mild weather, with the pair both eager to get their seasons under way this weekend.

The Tigers will host Cobden in their division one return and Brown said the club was buzzing ahead of the first ball.

He said both he and Mort wanted to see how their cricket compares to that of the South West Cricket competition and added they had one key objective they wanted to achieve.

“One thing for me being over here and Ellis as well, is I’ve come to the club and obviously they’ve moved up a division, but I want to make sure when I leave the club in a better position,” Brown said.

“It’s all about progression and improvement, so whether that’s the kids coming through and getting first team starts or whether that’s the older players learning more about running singles and picking gaps and not having to hit a long ball every second ball (then I’ve done my part).

“As long as when we leave we’ve left the club in a better position than when we found it, then I think that constitutes a successful season in my mind.”

The English pair differ as cricketers, with Brown admitting his strength is his ability to adjust to a situation very well as a batsman, while Mort believes he can suffocate the opposition with his bowling.

They have both already been outlined roles within skipper Brad Salmon’s team, with the leader giving them simple expectations for the season.

“So my job in the team is score runs so hopefully I score plenty,” Brown said.

“Brad Salmon our captain he’s come and had a chat with us a couple of times, he’s been thankful that we’ve come over and I think we both hope to fulfil our role in the team.

“My role is to score runs, Ellis’ role is to take wickets and hopefully we can do it at the standard we’ve come over to play.”

Brown and Mort will both debut in Simpson’s opener, with the pair set to enjoy their first competitive outing on a synthetic wicket.

Playing on synthetic is a new experience for both players and when asked what they knew about the Knights, all Brown could say was that they knew Cobden was “50 kilometres down the road”.

It’s only 28 kilometres, but nonetheless, Brown said the pair are both looking forward to the clash.

“It’ll be a nice gauge for us to see where their (Australia’s) standard of cricket is compared to our standard back home,” Brown said.

“But like I say, it’s on a synthetic wicket, so we’ve still got to get used to the conditions.

“And we’re used to playing on bowling greens (for outfield), but we’ve been told it’s not a bowling green, you’re going to have to work hard for your runs.

“It’s a fitness test really.”