Freeman awarded cricket scholarship

Jackson Freeman will play for Great Preston next season.
Jackson Freeman will play for Great Preston next season.

Australian all-rounder Jackson Freeman will play for Great Preston in the merged Bradford and Central Yorkshire Cricket League next season.

The 22-year-old has been awarded next year’s Giles Foster Scholarship (GFS).

The scholarship was established through the Giles family at Australian cricket club Ringwood and the Foster family at Great Preston CC.

After the completion of his pharmacy degree, Ringwood CC’s Stuart Giles was selected as Great Preston’s overseas player in 1994 and again in 1997.

It was a life-changing experience for him that Stuart and his wife Cathie now wish to provide to other aspiring young Australian cricketers.

The GFS provides funds to cover travel to and from the UK, a kick-start sign on fee and a tailored vocational experience.

The inaugural GFS was awarded to Matthew King who made a huge impact with Great Preston last season as they won the CYL Division One championship.

King scored 1,093 runs at an average of 109 in league and cup matches.

On being named the GFS Scholar for 2016, Freeman said: “I am honoured and excited to be a part of the evolving GFS story.

“I am also very proud to represent the Giles Foster Scholarship and Ringwood as I turn out for Great Preston in 2016.”

Freeman has played at Ringwood CC in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne since he was 10 years old.

His father Mark enjoyed a long and successful playing career with Ringwood and is the club’s current president while his grandfather was a long time treasurer and along with his grandmother continues to volunteer at the club.

Jackson progressed from the junior club up through the playing ranks to make his Ringwood first-team debut in the 2013-14 season. He became a first-team Premiership player for Ringwood in his 30th game last season in a match in which he opened the batting with David King, brother of Matt King, the inaugural GFS recipient.

Great Preston first-team captain Ian Newton said: “The impact that Matthew King had as the first recipient helped to raise the profile of the GFS and Great Preston CC within the surrounding area.

“I am confident a player with Jackson’s pedigree can help us to make the next step by achieving a second successive promotion in 2016. Great Preston also has a rich tradition in cup competitions and without sounding greedy, it would also be nice to have a good cup run.”