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Chad back home after southern reinvention

CHANGED MAN: Adrian Chad batting against Stockton in his first game back with Toronto after six years. Picture: Jonathan CarrollSIX years ago Adrian Chad left Toronto for Adelaide where he hoped to follow his dream of becoming a first-class leg-spinner.

That goal never came to fruition. Within threeyears he cast the leg breaks aside and started bowling medium pace.

Chad then discovered his real calling with the willow.

The 28-year-old remodeled himself into a consistent middle-order batsman at West Torrens, facing the likes of Australian limited-overs quick Kane Richardson and Redbacksspearhead Chadd Sayers.

The Kookaburras are benefiting from the return of Chad as they build towards their firstNewcastle district cricket finals series since their 2008-09 minor premiership.

Chad returned to Toronto three weeks ago and has scored 166 runs at an average of 55.33 in three innings.

In April Chad plans to continue his cricket journey with English club, Witham.

“My lease run out atmy apartment so it was easier to return home before I went to England, rather than find another place,” Chad said.

Once he returned to Newcastle, the decision to re-sign with the Kookaburras was an easy one, due to his long-standing friendship with Toronto captain Paul Toole and all-rounder Joe Price.

“We’re focused on what we’re doing and hopefully we’reon our way to bigger goals,” Chad said.

“We’re taking each game as it comes and worrying about what we’re doing.”

Chad has certainly returned to Ron Hill Oval a far more accomplished cricketer than he was when he left in 2009-10. Back then he floated between first and second grades and struggled to score consistently.

In Toronto’s outright win over Wallsend last Saturday, that propelled the Kookaburras from sixth to third, Chad scored 72 in a 155-run partnership with Greg Hunt (103) and took match figures of 3-42.

“It’sdefinitely a bonus having himback in the team,” Toole said.“We’re very happy with how he’s going.”

At West Torrens Chad played alongside Sheffield Shield cricketersAiden Blizzard, Dan Cullen,Peter George and Adam Crosthwaiteand their work ethic rubbed off.

“It was a step up in intensity and playing with guys who played first-class cricket just teaches you a lot about your game,” Chad said.

“I was working a lot harder. Instead of having hits twice a week, you’re out there three or four times a week working on things and coaches are putting in a lot of time down there. It really helps you develop your game.”

Chad also earned a university degree in exercise physiology. His success in finding a graduatejob will determine whether he plays on at Toronto next season.

“If I get a full-time job in Newcastle I’d love to stay here, but if it presents somewhere else then I’ll follow the work,” he said.

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