He doesn’t turn 16 till next month, but Queenstowner Hugo Bogue’s already turning heads in cricketing circles.

Last month he became, it’s thought, the youngest batter to make a century at the under-19 nationals when he scored 143, off 142 balls, for Otago against Central Districts.

The month before, the compact opener had scored 101 not out against adult bowlers in his first outing for Dunedin premier club, Albion.

The Sydney-born player, who moved to Queenstown with his family when he was eight, first announced himself last season when, playing for a Wakatipu High side, he smashed 295 not out — including 34 fours and 13 sixes — against a Christchurch school.

Hugo was inspired to play by watching, on TV, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum ‘‘smacking’’ the ball around.

He wanted to play at 5, but says his parents Angela Spackman and Reuben Bogue ‘‘denied’’ him for two years.

‘‘We didn’t want to give up our Saturdays,’’ Reuben quips.

Hugo credits Queenstown coach Emma Campbell for his early development — ‘‘if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am’’.

He says his batting’s come a long way since last season, when he struggled to bat for more than an hour.

He credits Otago Cricket for helping with his mental side, and local fast bowler Mason Clarke, 16, who’s off to this months’s U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, for help with honing his technique in the nets.

‘‘Him bowling to me has taken my game a long way — just having someone who can chuck it down, because he’s the quickest around.’’

Spackman says having Mason around has also meant the two sets of parents have been able to share driving duties.

Not everyone wants to bat first against new-ball bowlers, but Hugo, who’s also a part-time keeper, says he likes it because there are often field restrictions early on — ‘‘if you put a bit of bat on it, it gets through, normally’’.

He’s also not shy of bowlers bouncing him — ‘‘it’s a given part of it, they see your short stature, they go for your head’’.

He admits he’s keen to attain higher honours, but his immediate mission is performing well for the Otago U17s at the U17 nationals starting tomorrow at Lincoln, near Christchurch, where he’ll be joined by fellow locals Angus O’Neill and Matt Langford.

‘‘It’d be good to see Otago win, wouldn’t it?’’

A carnival of overs

The eighth Queenstown Cricket Carnival for senior secondary school teams is underway.

The four-day tourney, which started yesterday, again features 12 teams — Wakatipu High, defending champs Timaru Boys’, Christchurch’s St
Bede’s (two teams), St Andrew’s and St Thomas of Canterbury, Southland Boys’, Dunedin’s Otago Boys’, Taieri and John McGlashan, Otago Country and the first-ever North Island team, Hamilton’s Seddon Cricket Club.

Tournament director Russell Mawhinney, pictured, who’s co-opted local coach Emma Campbell as manager, says each team plays five games — across
four Events Centre grounds as well as Millbrook and Jack’s Point — starting with yesterday’s T20 seeding games.

He originally started the tournament ‘‘to make sure our kids got exposed to more cricket and could have a good-quality tournament right on their doorstep’’.

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