International cricket call-up for Rob Vitas at the age of 40!

Local cricket personality Rob Vitas is on course to make his international debut aged 40 in a World Cup qualifying competition...for Serbia.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 10:06 am
Rob Vitas.
Rob Vitas.

Vitas, a successful skipper at Castor and Ketton Cricket Clubs and the current manager of the Hunts County team, received his surprise call-up earlier this month.

He qualifies for Serbia through his father George Vitas, a Serbian national, and he will join up with his new teammates at a Belgrade training camp next month in preparation for the European stage of the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Waterloo, Belgium in July.

Serbia, who are ranked 100 in the world, have only played two international matches in their history. Belgium, Portugal and Austria provide the initial opposition with a place in the World Cup itself in Australia in 2022 the long-term goal.

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“I won’t be booking my plane ticket just yet,” Vitas, who is better known for his captaincy than the runs he scored, admitted. “I’m still in a state of shock, but probably anyone who ever played with me will be in a much greater state of shock!

“It’s a bizarre situation really. The coach of the Serbian team, Richard Black, is head of cricket at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, Surrey and he was looking for players based outside Serbia who would qualify to play for them. He spoke to a journalist who knew about my father and I received an email at 5am one morning any by noon I was on a zoom call with the coach and the Serbian cricket chairman and we were making plans for the summer.

“There are three English-based players and a couple of Australian-based players coming over for monthly training camps. One is Sam Ogrizovic who is the son of the former Coventry goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic who was also an excellent cricketer.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me and one I’m determined to relish, especially at my age. My father passed away during the first lockdown so I will doing my best for him.”

Well know local player Tariq Aziz is a regular in the Portugal team. He used to play with Vitas at Castor and Ketton.

Vitas will play his club cricket in York this summer.