Ex-Docker Thornton relishes new ball game
Former Fremantle utility player Scott Thornton has made a stunning sports transformation and will tomorrow make his first-grade bowling debut for Claremont-Nedlands Cricket Club.
Thornton played 88 games for the Dockers throughout an injury plagued 10-year career.
A broken leg stopped him from playing any games in 2010 and he decided to enjoy a summer of cricket before playing for South Fremantle in the WAFL next season.
Claremont-Nedlands treasurer Kyle Hookey is Thornton’s girlfriend’s brother, so the 28-year-old, who represented Victoria as a paceman when a teenager, went to training to see if he could get a game.
“I was really nervous going down to the club,” Thornton said.
“All I could think about was guys thinking to themselves ‘who the hell does this guy think he is?’ I knew some people there and that helped but everyone’s been great. I’m really enjoying it.”
Thornton took 2-15 from six overs in his third-grade debut and followed that with 3-65 the next week. A five-wicket haul in his third game prompted selectors to promote him to second grade and now he’s playing first grade.
Thornton and the other Claremont-Nedlands bowlers will today attempt to defend the 304 they made against Willetton last week.
It promises to be a big few days for Thornton. He has also been invited to bowl to England in Tuesday’s net session as they prepare for next week’s Test at the WACA Ground.
He said the change of sports had been fun.
“I’m really enjoying the challenge and having a bit of fun,” Thornton said.
“The leg gets sore from time to time around the spot where I broke it, but there’s nowhere near the workload involved compared to footy. And the best thing is it’s straight line running when you’re bowling.
“I don’t put any expectations on myself. I’m stoked to get into first grade but I’ve got no ambitions to go higher or anything like that. I’m really looking forward to Tuesday though. That’ll be fun. I think a few of the Dockers boys are coming to watch me play and bowl in the nets so they can yell some abuse.”
The quietly spoken Thornton doesn’t fit the tearaway fast bowling stereotype, and you’re unlikely to hear him sledging the opposition.
But Thornton’s batting tactics are straight out of the fast bowling handbook with most of his 34 runs this year coming from boundaries.