Wil Parker, the 18-year-old legspinner, has opted for a professional cricket career over Australian Rules Football by signing a full contract with Victoria for the 2020-21 season.
Parker made his first-class debut late last summer and impressed in his first outing at the SCG where he claimed four wickets to help Victoria to victory.
He is also a talented footballer, who was tipped as a top-20 pick in the AFL draft and had earned interest from some clubs, so he had a decision to make as to which sport he would pursue at the professional level. The lack of football being played in age-group competitions due to Covid-19, which left Parker unable to showcase his ability, was a big part in the process.
“It was a very hard decision, one I weighed up for a long time, I love both sports,” Parker said. “I had to choose one eventually. Especially in these circumstances with Covid-19 I couldn’t pass it up. There’s been no footy on so it didn’t give me the chance to see where I’m at and how good I am. Having the experience last year in cricket it gave me a good idea that I’m a chance to make it in cricket rather than hedge by bets in footy.
“If I’d had the chance to play footy I could have been in a totally difference position at the moment, I could have had a great season and made the draft, but in the current circumstances I didn’t feel confident going for the draft and had the opportunity for cricket.”