Moonee Valley Cricket Club


International cricketers play for Valleys


ItalyFeb09LuisNickAlex 450pixMoonee Valley was host to two of Italy’s most promising young national cricketers when Luis Di Giglio and Alessio Baldessarro trained and played with us in February.
In Australia on a three-month cricketing scholarship under the tutelage of Moonee Valley assistant coach Nick Puccio, Alex, 20, and Luis, 19, were a big hit with the Valleys.
Pictured here are (L-R) Luis, Nick and Alex in our Ormond Park rooms.
They powered Paul Comino’s Ninths to victory over Avondale Heights in their first game, and then were selected for two-day cricket second time around – Alex in the Fourths and Luis in the Seconds.
Alex made 12 and took a catch at the wicket in the Fourths to follow on from his 74no opening in the Ninths, while Luis ended up with a second game in the Ninths after a reshuffle in our Firsts squeezed him out of our Seconds at the last minute.
Our Nick Puccio has been a member of the Italian national cricket team since 2005 and as recently as October was in Tanzania representing his country.
Italy plays in Division 4 of the World Cricket League and is currently ranked 27th in the world by the ICC, and fifth of the non-Test playing European nations.
Luis and Alex are members of the Italian Cricket Academy, formed in 2007.
It sponsored their visit to Australia to fast-track their progress to become the backbone of the Italian youth and senior national teams in the years to come.
Luis, a seam bowler and Alex, a batsman/keeper had been training with Ivanhoe during their time in Australia, but opportunities for a game didn’t present until they came across to Moonee Valley with Nick.
Their trip Downunder has included a visit to the MCG and a training session with the Melbourne cricketers – and in a coincidence they ran into Garry Sturrock when they were waiting at Ormond Park on the Saturday morning to go to their first game.
Garry, an occasional Moonee Valley player and father of our Under 16s player Cameron, had been at the MCG with older son Sean – the Melbourne Firsts player – and was introduced to Alex and Luis on their tour.
Luis has already played for Italy at the top level, in the national team at the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in 2007 and in the European First Division championships in 2008, lining up against Ireland, Denmark, Netherlands, Scotland and Norway.
Luis, who plays back at home for the Pianoro club, and Alex – a Bologna player – are now forever in the books at Moonee Valley as our registered players, and their achievements will be recorded in this season’s Wisden.
They just add to the international flavor of our Club.
As well as Nick, the international brigade at Moonee Valley includes our other assistant coach, Arosha Perera, who has represented Sri Lanka against the West Indies and played in the world Twenty20 clubs competition in England. And our Andrew Payton has represented Australia at the Cricket Special Olympics in India.
Italy has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 1995, having previously been an affiliate member since 1984.
One of Nick’s teammates in the Azzurri has been former South Australian Sheffield Shield player Joe Scuderi, who retired from the national team last October.
Nick first played for the Italian team at the start of 2005, competing in the ICC World Cup qualifying series in Kuala Lumpur.
He also represented Italy in the European Championship Division 1 tournament in Glasgow, and in 2007 played in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Darwin.
Nick has taken on Kuwait, Papua-New Guinea, Nepal, Cayman Islands, Zambia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Hongkong, Tanzania and Fiji in his international career.
And in years to come we’ll all fondly remember when Luis Di Giglio and Alessio Baldessarro were our Moonee Valley team-mates.
All the best from the Valleys, guys!





March 11, 2009
Category: Archived News

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