Rob Quiney’s call-up to the Australian Test side for the match against South Africa has been met with cheers and tears of joy in Port Phillip and Bayside.
Quiney will make his Test debut in the match, which starts on Friday, after all-rounder Shane Watson was ruled out with a calf injury.
The batsman, who will slot in at number three, has long-standing ties with the area. He has played premier cricket for St Kilda since 2001, making 3724 runs.
Captain of the St Kilda first XI Graeme Rummans said the club was thrilled for Quiney which he described as a fellow Saint and great mate.
“It’s a great reward for Bobby,” he says. “The club has a real buzz about it and we were all over the moon to hear about it.”
Rummans says Quiney has worked “bloody hard” on every aspect of his game.
“Bobby was in and out of the firsts and seconds when I came to the club [in 2002],” he says. “You could tell he had a lot of talent. He had all the shots but he had to improve his fitness, which he did, and now he is a fantastic player.’’
The pair have played in premierships together and Rummans names the 344-run partnership the two put up against Melbourne in February 2007 as a career highlight.
“He made 215 that day,” Rummans says.
St Kilda players will fly to the Gabba for the first day of the Test but Rummans won’t be among them.
“Unfortunately I’m moving house. It’s just around the corner from where Bobby lives, I was gonna ask him to help me,” he says laughing.
“But a few of the boys will be up there supporting him. Hopefully he can inspire them to play well in our game on Saturday.”
Quiney played junior cricket at Washington Park Cricket Club, in Carnegie. The club will honour his selection, its first Test player, with a toast at training on Thursday night.