Australian all-rounder Josh Brown having a big impact for Histon in the Cambs & Hunts Premier League
Wickets and runs have been in plentiful supply for Josh Brown so far this summer.
The 25-year-old Australian decided to chance his arm in the UK and has adapted to the challenge like a duck to water.
Brown has been tormenting the bowlers and challenging the batsman of the Whiting & Partners Cambs & Hunts Premier League to help Histon mount a bid for the top of Division One.
He smashed 13 sixes in a score of 113, off 71 balls, in the win over Eaton Socon – although that is tame compared to his record tally of 34 sixes in an innings, as a 17-year-old back home.
The temptation to test himself on these shores came through a compatriot who had followed a similar path.
“One of the guys from my club back home came over three years ago, Michael Wright,” said Brown, who is working at the Railway Vue pub in Impington while over here.
“He asked me if I wanted to go over for a season so I thought it would be a good experience.
“I had wanted to come over and once Michael said he had a club that would be keen to have me over, I didn’t even think about it, I just said yes.
“He filled me in on a lot about the club which was good as not much has changed since he’d been over here.
“It’s such a good club and a good bunch of blokes to play cricket with.”
Brown is from Brisbane and his club is Northern Suburbs District, who play in the Queensland Premier Cricket competition.
“Back home I play in first grade competition which is the highest we can play in Queensland without going to State cricket or Big Bash cricket,” he said.
“In our competition at my club we have Joe Burns playing for us, and a couple of Big Bash players like young Jack Prestwidge.
“It’s been fun for the last couple of years. In one of the games we played in the season just gone, we faced James Pattinson, Matt Renshaw and Chris Lynn [all Australia internationals] so it’s a pretty strong competition that we’ve got.
“But I think it’s a good standard here. I would probably say it’s around second to third grade back home.
“The main difference is that usually opening bowlers are really good, and then the change bowlers drop off a little bit.
“Unlike Sawston, they’ve got good bowlers all round which is why they’re top.”
It is the aforementioned Sawston & Babraham that have set the benchmark this season, with nine wins out of nine, but are still in the sights of Histon.
“We want to see how close we can get to pushing them for the title, which would be nice,” said Brown. “We want to keep playing the good cricket we’ve been playing.
“We only narrowly lost to them (Sawston & Babraham) which was a bit frustrating as it would have been good to knock them over.”
You sense that if Histon are to edge above Eaton Socon and closer to Sawston & Babraham then Brown will be crucial to their cause.
He has currently scored 544 runs, with a top knock of 113 to sit second in the Division One rankings to Waqas Hussain.
“It’s about knowing your game and adjusting to the pitches,” said Brown, as he explained the key.
“I’m so used to the fast, bouncy wickets back home whereas over here they’re a lot lower and slower.
“With me, I just hit through the line on everything which makes it a lot easier because I don’t have to worry about it bouncing too high and all of that.”
As for the bowling rankings, he is top in Division One with 25 wickets, with Sawston & Babraham’s Tim Moses second with 23.
“I’ve always been an all-rounder,” he adds. “I used to bowl off-spin and then decided to give seam up a try and have stuck with it for the last few years now, which has been good.
“I had two five fors at the start of the season, but one of them was against Godmanchester and they’ve pulled out, so it’s been taken away!”