Meet 19-year-old Canberra cricketer Tom Vane-Tempest, a wicketkeeper-batsman not only well-served by Cricket ACT programs, but who has taken young, aspiring glovemen under his wing.
Like all good glovemen, budding Canberra cricketer Tom Vane-Tempest has taken the opportunity to coach junior ACT wicket-keepers with both hands. The ANU Law student took that opportunity at the beginning of the 2016-17 summer largely because of the generosity of service of 66-Test veteran Brad Haddin.
Haddin was Vane-Tempest’s childhood idol, so much so that Brad Haddin gloves were a mainstay in the then Marist student’s junior kit bag. So when the former Test gloveman spent an evening hitting Vane-Tempest catches at Manuka Oval, it was a moment the wicketkeeper-batsman would relish.Haddin had just walked off the ground at the end of a 2015-16 Toyota Futures League day’s play, a fixture in which Vane-Tempest carried the drinks.
The Tuggeranong gloveman, who made his Comets debut in a match against South Australia featuring Haddin last October, said having the former Test cricketer around is invaluable.
“To be able to actually get to meet him for the first time was unreal, and then a year later to be able to play with him was incredible,” Vane-Tempest said.
“He was from Canberra and had been through the same pathway I was on, and am still on, so having that person that shows that you can make it from my position … He’s always been an inspiration.”
It was a matter of master and apprentice on Vane-Tempest’s Comets debut, as the side’s new keeper combined with then 38-year-old Haddin for a second-innings partnership of 99 runs.
When Vane-Tempest took up the gloves at 15-years-old, he would also spend two afternoons a week running through wicket-keeping drills, free of charge, with Sheffield Shield cricketer Aaron Ayre in the first-class cricketer’s backyard net.
Vane-Tempest has also been involved with Comets programs since the age of 12-years-old, culminating in him becoming a part of the Comets’ Futures League squad which has “given (him) access to some great coaches and some very experienced players”.
The 19-year-old said the opportunity to coach many of Canberra’s up-and-coming junior glovemen has allowed him to give back in the way he was shown.
“I know how it feels to be in their position. I know how invaluable it is to have someone you can look up to or someone you feel is approachable,” Vane-Tempest said.
In the same way he has been fortunate to be guided by Haddin, Ayre and Comets programs, many budding Canberra prospects are lucky to have a cricketer of the calibre of Vane-Tempest showing them the ropes.
Vane-Tempest has snared the second-most catches (17) and stumpings (four) across all formats combined in first-grade this season. More impressively, the gloveman claimed the most catches (nine) and stumpings (four) in this season’s Gallop Cup.
Like his mentor Haddin, Vane-Tempest is also handy with the blade. Two days before he donned Comets colours for the first time, he crafted a sturdy 66 runs for Tuggeranong in McDonald’s ACT Premier Cricket at the top of the order.
Asked what advice he has for promising junior cricketers, Vane-Tempest said it’s important to have someone to look up to.
“I think it’s important to have a role model, someone you aspire to be like,” Vane-Tempest said.
Even before he took up the gloves at 15-years-old, Haddin was Vane-Tempest’s role model.
“Hadds was a great role model for me because he’s a hard worker,” Vane-Tempest said.
“He’s obviously extremely talented, but the main thing that I idolised about him was his hard work, on and off the field, his fighting spirit and team-based game.”
It is a big plus for Canberra cricket that Vane-Tempest, a star of tomorrow, seems to have been cut from the same cloth as Haddin, a star of yesterday.