We initially thought that Shaun “Former Flying Tomato” White had grown his locks back and hopped codes from snowboarding to cricket, but it turns out that the new carrot top is that of Lloyd Pope, a spinning prodigy who might soon debut for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield competition.
Just 18, if the weather is conducive to spinning, Pope might take the pitch against New South Wales for the opener.
Further excitement for South Australia takes the form of Jake Lehmann reprising the role of his dad Darren, but that took a backseat to the news surrounding Pope.
Perhaps he should have a Roman numeral on the back of his shirt?
Pope’s maturity, not in the mental sense, but physically, find him in over his head, but everyone has been there at one time or another and now is as good a time as any to find out if he can grow, as some are eager to predict, into the next Shane Warne.
Talk about your weighty expectations.
As if putting willow to ball was not already difficult enough, imagine doing it while someone waves a bright red mop in your eyes and you have some inkling of the challenge Pope presents.
Pope can spin it both ways, but the weather forecast is for showers and a rain-slickened pitch is not the spot for a leg-spinner, experienced or otherwise.
The opportunity for Pope is the result of Adam Zampa being busy in the United Arab Emirates for Twnety20 obligations and Redbacks Coach Jamie Siddons expressed belief that Pope has a bright future, telling The Advertiser, “He is exciting, spins it both ways and we just want to see how it goes. We think he is a future bowler for us. We lean towards playing him. He has a few tricks. I expect him to do a job straight away as our spinner but we have Tom Cooper who can do a job. We will have enough bowling support there.”
Pope showed true promise in this year’s under-19 World Cup in Queenstown taking eight wickets from England.