Local cricket star bound for India

Gisborne’s Riley Vernon after his brilliant 148 at Gilbert Gordon Reserve on Saturday.

Gisborne cricket star Riley Vernon plundered the Woodend attack before afternoon tea to score 148 from 98 balls on Saturday. 

In doing so, Riley became the first batter to top 1000 runs in a Gisborne District Cricket Association season. 

He celebrated his 23rd birthday in the evening, and will soon fly to India to attend the world-renowned MH Dohni Cricket Academy for 15 days of high-level training. 

Inspired by the feats of older brother Jarryd, Gisborne’s current captain who compiled a quick fire 104 from 62 balls to help the Dragons reach a winning 9/383, Riley is dedicated to playing a big role with the bat in the McIntyre 1sts finals. 

Last season he had scored a record-breaking 210 not out against Rupertswood in the qualifying final, before trying a ramp shot that went wrong. 

The result was a fractured bone in an eye socket, which resulted in hospitalisation, and he missed the semi-final where eventual premiers Romsey caused an upset by bundling out the flag favourites cheaply. 

”We’re all extremely hungry to secure a premiership this season,” Riley said. 

His 148 was his fourth century this season, and for a player to make over 1000 runs in a season is a remarkable feat. Jarryd held the GDCA run record set last season, when he won the Sullivan Medal. 

Riley said his batting coach, Shannon Young (Richmond Cricket Club head coach) had been instrumental in arranging his visit to the MH Dohni Academy, which is in Ahmedabad. 

“I learnt a lot playing in England last season and am keen to improve further …. it’s great to have this opportunity.”