Wichura's agony and ecstasy
SUCCESS has never come easy for Ipswich indoor cricketer Tim Wichura.
Wichura was part of the Australian team that took out the men's indoor cricket world cup in South Africa last weekend, held in the Gauteng province.
Australia lost just once throughout the tournament, to South Africa during the pool stages, on its way to the title.
In the final the Aussies beat the hosts. For Wichura, it was both a painful and fantastic experience.
Having been an integral part of the team in the lead-up, including taking man-of-the-match honours against Sri Lanka, Wichura woke on the morning of the semi-final with an agonising back condition.
"The physio tried to get me better but there wasn't enough time," Wichura explained.
His crook back kept him out of the semi-final and final.
The Churchill 26-year-old struggled to put into words the disappointment he felt.
"I teared up a bit," he admitted.
"I've been trying for this for the past four years. My chance finally came and I've done this."
The next World Cup is in New Zealand in 2014 and Wichura is determined to get there.
He is confident about his chances and has good reason to be. In 2008 and 2009 Wichura was part of the Queensland squads that reached the national championship finals, only to be dropped for the big game on both occasions.
That only served to harden his resolve as he earned the man-of-the-match award in his state's win at last year's titles.
He will draw upon the experience to ensure he will be there next time Australia contests the World Cup.
"It makes me hungrier," he said.
"I want another test cap. I'll keep going and going and only get better."
For earning selection in the Australian team, Wichura is the September senior winner in the 2011/12 Queensland Times City of Ipswich awards, backed by Ipswich City Council.
Once his initial disappointment in South Africa resided, he was able to enjoy his team's triumph, knowing he'd played a crucial part.
"I still won the World Cup," he said. "It is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
"Not many people get to play in and win a World Cup."
Australia's 95 in the final was too much for the South Africans, who managed just 55 in response.