Born and raised in Adelaide, Corey and Thomas will be living out the dream of every child who first picks up a bat or a ball in the backyard: earning a cap number for the team they have supported throughout the journey.
It will be the first time twins have taken the field for South Australia in the state’s storied 150-year cricketing history, and will also mark Thomas’ debut. Corey has five games to his name in the 50-over format, and he is thrilled at the prospect of sharing the sixth with his brother.
‘I just can’t wait. To have this opportunity is so great. We are going to be playing alongside not only each other, but some of our heroes growing up. It’s going to be unreal.
‘Pre-season and the summer so far has been a real eye-opener; I had to put in some hard work after a shoulder injury late last season. All the boys have been great; it is a new-look squad this year and everyone is loving it.’
Separated at birth by just two minutes, the pair also had to be separated plenty of times in the backyard as kids, with many of the sporting tussles undertaken with extreme competitiveness. Such was the destruction the powerful twins wrought on the family home during their cricketing battles, certain objects were labelled by their father as modes of dismissal should they be struck.
It is perhaps best not to mention the incident involving a stump repurposed as a projectile on one particularly spirited occasion, but it does give an idea of how much the twins love their cricket. Through it all however, the two have remained extremely close, and Thomas beams at the chance to wear the South Australian colours in conjunction with Corey.
‘It will be unreal to play for our state together. After growing up supporting the Redbacks and always dreaming of one day putting a red cap and shirt on and playing on Adelaide Oval, it is going to be a dream come true.
‘We have had a great start to the summer, I have worked hard with Stubbo (batting coach Steve Stubbings) on tightening a few things in my game up, and obviously keeping the fitness up with Schwerdty (Physical Performance Manager Stephen Schwerdt) putting us through some hurt!’
Redbacks Head Coach Jason Gillespie is thrilled to see the Kelly’s rewarded for their efforts.
‘This is so exciting for South Australian cricket; it is just such a positive story. Thomas and Corey have worked so hard to get to this point, they have earned their place. How amazing is it that two local lads will line up for the team they have always followed, and they will do it alongside some of their cricketing role models?
‘I can’t wait to see what they do in the middle of Adelaide Oval tomorrow.’
The Redbacks take on Queensland from 10.30am, with entry free and every ball broadcast live on cricket.com.au, Foxtel and Kayo Sport.
West End Redbacks Squad v Queensland
Travis Head (c)
Alex Carey (vc) (wk)
27 November 2021