WHEN 14-year-old Kye Leggett strides out onto Salter Oval for his debut with Norths Division 1 team it will be a far cry from his early years playing backyard cricket.
Nine years ago, Leggett picked up his bat emulating his cricketing heroes - Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.
Today, Leggett will line up against the reigning champions Brothers and despite some nerves and sweaty palms, he can't wait.
"I love being out on the field and batting," he said.
"It's just like being in another zone."
The talented cricketer has honed his skills playing for YMCA, and has been selected in the Bundaberg and Wide Bay under-13s representative sides over the years.
But he acknowledged today would be a different experience entirely.
"I'm a bit nervous as you would expect," he said.
"But the team has been really good and made me feel very welcome.
"They have been very encouraging."
Leggett's mum, Helen, said she would be more emotional than her son as cheered him on from the sideline.
"I'm going to have tears in my eyes that's for sure," she said.
"But he has worked really hard for this."
Norths captain Shaun Rose said when Patrick Power was ruled out through prior commitments there was only one player he had on his mind to replace him.
"We've been working with Kye for quite a bit and his performance warrants his selection," he said.
"For a 14-year-old, he has a real level head and a lot of respect for the game but has that confidence which you need.
Rose said Leggett had been chosen for his all-round ability with bat and ball.
"He will probably be batting at six or seven but will probably be one of our main bowlers," he said.
Rose said ushering the next generation of cricket players into the team was thrilling for the entire club.
"Bringing young players through and making them feel part of the team is so important," he said.
After the frenetic action of Twenty20 cricket last week, the shorter form of the game is put on hold as the Div 1 teams play 45-over matches, with teams needing to adjust their approach.
"You can get a quick roll on in Twenty20 cricket but it can also fall apart just as quickly," he said.
"From a batting perspective because it becomes more about batting out the overs and building partnerships."
The other game today will see Country Wests take on ATW.