In the world of cricket, twin stories are rare and captivating. Thomas Kelly, born on 14 December 2000, is one half of a cricketing duo that has been making waves in Australian cricket. With a promising career ahead of him and a unique connection to the game, Thomas Kelly’s journey is one for the record books.
A Double Debut in the Making
Thomas Kelly’s introduction to List A cricket came on 28 November 2021 when he made his debut for South Australia against Queensland during the 2021-22 Marsh One-Day Cup. This marked the beginning of his List A career, and it was a significant moment for the young cricketer.
What makes Thomas Kelly’s cricketing journey even more intriguing is that he is the identical twin brother of Australian cricketer Corey Kelly, who shares the same passion for the game. In fact, they are the first identical twins to play first-class cricket on the same team in Australia since Kate and Alex Blackwell.
A Sporting Family Background
The Kelly twins hail from a sports-focused family. Their father, Matthew Kelly, was a member of the original Adelaide Crows squad for the Australian Football League (AFL). This sporting lineage played a crucial role in shaping the twins’ love for sports, and it was under their father’s influence that they developed a deep passion for cricket.
Their journey didn’t start with cricket, though. The twins initially played Australian rules football with the Mitcham Hawks Football Club and Norwood Football Club. Their football careers were impressive, with over 100 games under their belts. However, their focus shifted to cricket, a sport their father had also played. Interestingly, before the age of fifteen, Corey was primarily a batter, while Thomas was more inclined towards bowling. They eventually switched roles after discovering their respective affinities for the opposite positions.
Early Cricketing Adventures
In their early years, the Kelly brothers began their cricketing journey at the school level, displaying immense talent and potential. However, their paths diverged slightly when Corey was selected to represent Australia in the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, while Thomas narrowly missed out on selection for the same team. Despite this divergence, their love for cricket remained a constant in their lives.
Thomas Kelly was associated with the Sturt Cricket Club, where he honed his skills and embraced the cricketing culture. In 2021, he described the club as being “in an awesome spot at the moment,” reflecting the positive impact it had on his development as a cricketer.
Debut for the West End Redbacks
At the age of 20, the Kelly brothers received a significant career boost when they were signed to the West End Redbacks, South Australia’s professional first-class cricket team. This marked a remarkable achievement for both brothers, and they had the distinction of becoming the first twins to play cricket together for South Australia.
Their debut game for the Redbacks took place in November 2021, a memorable moment for both Thomas and Corey. While South Australia may have lost the game, Thomas Kelly described his debut as “unbelievable” and emphasized how fortunate he felt to have had the experience.
The First-Class Journey Begins
Thomas Kelly’s journey in first-class cricket officially commenced on 23 March 2022 when he made his debut for South Australia in the 2021-22 Sheffield Shield season. As he continues to gain experience and exposure in the longer format of the game, it’s clear that his cricketing journey is just getting started.
The Kelly twins, with their unique story and remarkable talent, are a testament to the diversity and richness of Australian cricket. Their journey serves as an inspiration to young cricketers who aspire to make it big in the world of sports. As Thomas Kelly’s cricketing career unfolds, the cricketing world eagerly anticipates the contributions he and his brother will make to the game in the years to come.