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Young Waugh to play in BBL curtain-raiser

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

Graham Manou laughed the first time he saw Austin Waugh play cricket, because the similarities were so striking.

The son of former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh is making a big impression at junior level and Manou says the teenager's lineage is obvious.

"It was very scary, the first time I saw him - his mannerisms," Manou, Cricket Australia's pathways manager, said of Austin.

"Genetically, I suppose you'd expect (it), but it's like he's watched a tape of his old man for years. They're very, very similar."

The latest generation of the famous cricket family will feature in a BBL curtain raiser on December 27 at the SCG.

Waugh will play in the Ponting XII against a Gilchrist XII, with the teams made up of the country's best under-17 and under-19 players.

Waugh was named the player of the final in the Australian under-17 championships two months ago when he scored a century for the Metro NSW side.

He also played in the under-19 nationals.

"The hundred in the 17s was probably a year or two above his age," Manou said.

"He certainly came out and just changed the pace of the game, which is something from my perspective is what we're looking for.

"At times he did that in the under-19s and if he looks back, on reflection, he was in really good form and he probably didn't capitalise as well as he'd hoped.

"But there's a hell of a lot to like there from Austin."

Waugh's captain will be Will Sutherland, son of CA chief executive James, who is also impressing as an allrounder.

Manou said Waugh, Sutherland and NSW rookie Jason Sangha had shown they are a step ahead of their peers in terms of game awareness.

He added that father and son Waugh understand the extra focus that Austin's cricket career will always attract.

"He's a very mature kid - he gets it," Manou said.

"He certainly knows where he's at and there will be enough people along the way to let him know where he's at as well, in the game.

"But they both handle it very well and you can see, just as an outsider, that they have a fantastic relationship.

"Steve's very mindful that he doesn't encroach too much on what's happening within Austin's world."

Victorian Will Pucovski, who will captain the Gilchrist XII, is another player to watch.

He has scored five centuries in the past fortnight - four at the under-19 nationals and another in the Premier League.

"On the back of this carnival, it's pretty exciting times for the young lad - there are plenty of opportunities around the corner, I'd imagine," Manou said.

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