It has been a rollercoaster ride for teen prodigy Harry Dixon after recently making a ton of runs for Australia’s Under 19’s side overseas, leading him to sign with the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL.
Like many great sportsmen, Dixon started playing cricket at a very young age and was always driven to get the most out of himself.
He started playing at around seven years of age for Malvern, before moving to Toorak Prahran for a couple years and now plays for the St Kilda Cricket Club in the Victorian Premier League.
Dixon saw playing high level cricket as an unattainable dream, with it being no mean feat to get to where he is today.
“I was probably seven or eight but back then it’s sort of more dreaming to become a professional I’d say, rather than wanting to. It’s very difficult to do that, but now that we’ve worked hard, it’s all coming together which is nice,” he told The Inner Sanctum.
He first started playing for St Kilda when he was 12 and has since rose to stardom as an attacking and crafty top order batsman.
The left-hander credited friends at the club for kickstarting his cricketing journey.
“I had a couple of people that were linked to St Kilda, and they got me down so I could get a game which is nice,” he said.
“This is going into my sixth or seventh year at the club, and I can’t thank the coaches at St Kilda enough for their help. They’ve been great for me, and they’ve done a lot for me.”
Dixon has been involved in an elite system for years now, first representing Victoria in the under 15’s back in 2018 as a 13-year-old.
His recent impressive achievements have come on the back of a mountainous amount of runs while representing Australia’s under 19’s team throughout this year.
After being selected for Australia in a Youth ODI series at the start of the year, he went onto bludgeon 148 runs off just 125 balls against a strong England side in Brisbane.
But he wasn’t finished there.
In September, he continued to haunt the Poms, hitting knocks of 167 off 209 balls and 83 runs from only 52 balls in the respective innings’ of Australia’s first Youth Test in Worcester, England.
Just days later, he signed his first professional contract with the Melbourne Renegades. The opportunity to challenge himself in different conditions, while representing his country was a chance Dixon was very grateful for.
“It’s an honour to represent the country and it’s nice for there to be opportunities for Under 19’s to go overseas and experience something like that in England. It was nice to get some runs away,” he said.
Despite his feats Dixon has stayed truly humble, believing the series in England “could’ve gone either way” for him.
“I think it could’ve gone either way, but it was nice to just trust the process and get some runs on the board for the team and get the boys a 4-1 win,” he said.
It was an eye-opening experience, with this year being the first time Dixon has plied his trade overseas.
“We went to Sri Lanka earlier this season for a training camp which was very different to England, obviously spinning a lot more. England with the Dukes ball it’s swinging around a lot more,” he said.
“It was a nice challenge and good to experience what it’s like playing cricket in a different country as well. It’s the first time I’ve played in matches overseas.”
Dixon has had a whirlwind year, but particularly of very recent times with the 18-year-old being unable to believe the wonderful chain of events his life has taken.
At the start of last season, he was hoping just to hone his craft and enjoy the game with friends and family at St Kilda. Fast forward 12 months and he will have the opportunity to learn off greats like Quentin de Kock and Aaron Finch.
“If someone had of told me at the start of last season that all this would’ve happened so quickly, then I would’ve bloody… I don’t know what I would’ve done,” he jokingly said.
“It’s the stuff you aspire towards when you’re going through the years, but I think for it to actually happen, I probably haven’t thought about it too much as of yet, so hopefully it sinks in soon.”
“It’s a great achievement for me to realise a couple of my dreams that I was aspiring towards when I was a young fella. It’s nice to know you’re ticking off a few boxes in your childhood dream.”
Former Australian cricketer Dan Christian, who is a mentor for Australia’s Under 19’s team, spoke glowingly about the left-handed opener in a press conference in September following Dixon’s dominant performances.
“He’s a wonderful ball-striker. He’s got a wonderful ability to go up and down the gears. We saw that in the four-dayer (youth test) where at different stages he’d go quite hard, but then he’s able to wind it back and defend,” he said.
“Then in the second innings, it was like he and Sam Konstas (opening partner) were having a competition with each other to see who could hit the biggest six. It was extraordinary batting. They were hitting it wherever they wanted.”
The sweet timing Dixon will now turn his attention to the BBL competition, starting in December. It will be a massive step up for the 18-year-old, but he is confident he has transferable skills to be able to contribute at the level.
“I think I adjust between each form pretty well; I’ve played a lot of T20 cricket but not as much as I would’ve liked. There’s a lot of one day cricket and premier cricket, T20 comps are coming through the ranks nowadays,” he said.
“I’m more of a faster player I’d say, more aggressive so hopefully I can take that into the T20 format and help the Gades win some games.
“Hopefully over the next two years I can learn and grow as much to be the best possible player I can.”
Due to his rapid rise, you’d understand if Dixon was to get complacent but the youngster is staying level-headed, hoping to soon get a Victorian contract and potentially play a few games for the Melbourne Renegades later in the season.
“For me [the goal is to] obviously to play a couple of games for the Gades. Then hopefully crack into Victoria’s team sometime in the next couple years and then try to become a regular player and try to make a career out of the sport I love, that’s the goal,” he said.
“We talked about where I’ve come from, here to last year. If someone had of told me where I was last year to where I am now, I wouldn’t have believed them, so who knows over the next five, ten years where I’ll be.”
“Hopefully in a good position, you never know so we’ll see where it takes us in the future.”
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