Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Tauranga teen cricketer joins exclusive club

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Iman Singh is the latest to join a special group by playing for the Bay of Plenty senior men's team while still at secondary school.

The 16-year-old, Year 11 Tauranga Boys' College student joins recent members of that group in Bharat Popli, Kane Williamson, Joe Carter and Daniel Flynn.

While the unassuming young man is well aware of the names he is now associated with, he is not getting too far ahead of himself.

Bowling leg spin teaches you that. It is one of the most difficult skills to master in the game and involves endless patience, determination and perseverance.

Iman has a long way to go but his selection for Bay of Plenty at his age, after just a few seasons of Baywide club, is remarkable.

"I was really surprised when I got called up [for Bay of Plenty] because I didn't think I would be playing Bay of Plenty senior men's at 16 years old," Iman said.

"I thought I would be playing Bay Development and doing some batting and bowling there."

Singh admits bowling to some of the better players in the Baywide competition, like Northern Knights' Brett Hampton, Jono Boult and Popli, can be daunting at first.

"It has been a bit of a challenge but I just found if you just focus on one thing at the start, be confident and just pitch the ball up and back yourself, then you will be all good," Iman said.

"Just be confident, have a plan and know what you are going to do.

"Obviously there are not a lot of leg spinners in New Zealand so there is always a good chance to get selected in further teams."

You just know straight away he is going to be a pretty good player. He is just really consistent.
Charles Williams

Iman attended Te Puke Primary, Te Puke Intermediate and Te Puke High School before moving to Tauranga Boys' for better cricket opportunities.

"I grew up there and played with the Te Puke Cricket Club," Iman said.

"Tai (Bridgeman-Raison) and Steve Crossan have really helped me going to trainings and working on stuff with me."

Tauranga Boys' First XI coach and Bay of Plenty selector, Charles Williams, has no doubt Iman has the ability to go a long way in the game.

"I had seen him playing for Te Puke as a Year 9 so I have known him for a while now. You can just tell he has got something other guys don't have," Williams said.

"He is just really mature for his age and we have played him in a couple of big games and he doesn't seem overawed by the game or the situation.

"You just know straight away he is going to be a pretty good player. He is just really consistent. You get some young leggies that have talent but bowl a couple of half trackers an over but Iman doesn't seem to do that.

"To be so consistent at such a young age is pretty outstanding I would say."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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