Archie Schiller, the six-year-old cricket crazy kid from Barossa Valley, Australia, has been included in the national squad for the famous Test match –Boxing Day Test against India to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from December 26, 2018.
Tim Paine-led Australia Cricket Team will have a very special player –Schiller, who has a life-threatening long-term heart disease, in the squad for the first time for the Boxing Day Test, as head coach Justin Langer has extended an invitation to the cricket-mad youngster for the same on December 3 (Monday).
Archie was contacted through Make-A-Wish Foundation after learned about his circumstances and aspirations when he prepared for his most recent operation by Langer during Australia’s Pakistan series in October in the UAE, which offered him the opportunity to sport Baggy Green against India.
Schiller, who doesn't even turn seven until a few days before Christmas, has undergone 13 surgeries so far, while he underwent urgent an open-heart surgery for the first time when he was just three months old lasting more than seven hours in Melbourn. He had faulty heart valves, which led to the irregular beating of the heart and he has to be monitored and kept in check at all times.
Archie, who describes himself as a leg-spinner and models himself after cricket legend Shane Warne, got the gratifying news from Langer himself via a video call from the Adelaide Oval Stadium, and even he was invited by the Coach to meet up with the team on Tuesday (December 4) at nets ahead of the Test series opener on December 6, 2018 (Thursday).
While national players are looking forward to welcoming their newest member at the practice session in Adelaide, Langer did not give a guarantee about his inclusion in the Playing XI at MCG, but this heart-warming gesture will certainly put a smile on his face and give a lifetime memory.
Langer told cricket.com.au: “I reckon he'll be treated like (uncapped opener) Marcus Harris – come in for the first time in the changerooms, meet all the boys and like always when you come into that inner sanctum of the Baggy Green, it's like joining the brotherhood.”
He added, “Archie will be joining the brotherhood. He's been through some tough times spent a lot of time in a hospital bed, so anyway that we can help to put a smile on his face, it's the very least we can do for him. Just being out on Adelaide Oval, in the sunshine, under a nice blue sky and running around with his heroes – who, to a man, were all really moved by his story – it should be terrific for everyone.”
Interestingly, the kid also insisted that he'd be able to get Indian batting superstar Virat Kohli out pretty easily with his leg-spin, hoping to bowl him in Melbourne.
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In October, Australian coach Justin Langer responded to a memo from Make-A-Wish Australia to give six-year-old Archie, who suffers from congenital heart disease, a special phone call whilst in the UAE. Tomorrow, he meets the team. https://t.co/LC9zxzPFTd— Cricket Australia (@CAComms) December 3, 2018
(With Cricket Australia Network Inputs)