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From Bendigo to Big Bash League via Darwin for James Seymour

From Bendigo to Big Bash League via Darwin for James Seymour

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James Seymour smashed two sixes in a winning Big Bash League debut for the Melbourne Renegades on Tuesday, but how did the now 29-year-old make such a belated debut in front of a primetime television audience.

Seymour looked at home in the red of the Renegades as he hit former Test bowler Peter Siddle for a six from his very first ball faced at Marvel Stadium. Another followed in a quickfire 23 from 14 balls for the left-hander.

His runs helped last season's wooden spoonists the Renegades record a nailbiting two-run win over the Adelaide Strikers to make a winning start to BBL11.

It sparked immediate questions of just how did his debut in the BBL take so long? And why hadn't he featured before for the Renegades?

It has been a long road to the big time since starting his cricketing dream in Bendigo as a youngster. So much so, you could argue that Seymour could well have been tagged as a journeyman club cricketer before landing this chance.

The big hitting batting on display at Marvel Stadium wasn't what Seymour initially earned his stripes for. He was named in the Bendigo Under-18 team as an off-spin bowler, but failed to get onto the radar of the state teams at under-17 and under-19 level.

Still harbouring hopes to make the grade as a batsman, Seymour moved to the city and to Essendon Cricket Club to showcase his talents.

It was a slow-burner rather than setting the world on fire as a middle-order batsman, but he really came to prominence in the club game after making a switch to Casey South-Melbourne and getting his chance as an opener.

Seymour got the runs to justify his place in the side in a single season, prompting a switch to Clarence in Tasmania. He has also turned out for Randwick Petersham in Sydney and returned back to be Essendon.

All the while, he was heading to Darwin every winter to play more cricket and prove himself in yet another state.

At the age of 26, three years ago, he finally got the call he had craved for and a place among the Victorian development program. His personal development in the program led to a place among the Melbourne Stars squad for BBL10 last year.

A century for a Premier Cricket representational side against a Victorian XI in January was the big turning point, which also got the attention of the biggest betting sites who were taking note of the rising star.

What followed was his first Sheffield Shield call-up in April, and he got his first century for the state in November with 105 against New South Wales at the MCG.

The dream was complete for a man who had worked at a casino, in a waterpark, as an Uber Eats driver and as a private cricket coach to make ends meet.

Better was still to come on his T20 debut for the Renegades. With his determination there would be many suggesting bigger and better things are still to come Seymour's way.

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