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Lautaro Musiani spinning webs for Argentina

By Orin Davidson
July 18th, 2009
In Argentina where soccer is king, Diego Maradona is an idol but for 14-year Lautaro Agustin Musiani no icon is better than Shane Warne, the ex Australian cricket superstar.

Born and bred in Buenos Aires, the heart and soul of the South American super power, Musiani is as different to his compatriots as Equator is to the North Pole.

Lautaro Musiani of Argentina had four for 28 against Cayman Islands. (Photo by John Aaaron)

He cares little about soccer, but loves cricket for which 99.9 percent of the population knows nothing about.

And he is good at playing the once ‘Gentleman’s game’ game too.

The slightly built youngster made a name for himself at the just concluded International Cricket Council (ICC) Americas Championships representing his native Argentina, which by now you should’ve guessed, actually has national cricket teams.

Unsurprisingly, Musiani is a leg spinner and caused a sensation with a superb performance that produced one of the best figures in the six-nation competition held at the Maple Leaf cricket facility in Toronto last weekend.

He ripped through the heart of the Cayman Islands batting with a haul of four wickets for 28 runs, and although Argentina did not win the game, almost everyone – officials and players in the competition were happy for the young Argentine. Not because he was one of the youngest players in the competition, but also for his country that has finally produced a player of exceptional talent.

Musiani was never formally taught the game by any coach - he is a self made leg spinner and as you might have guessed mainly through looking at Warne bowl on DVD.

Musiani acquired the Shane Warne ‘Master Class Video’ and applied his mental faculties to acquiring Warne’s techniques. Asked if he can bowl the googley, Musiami nonchalantly replied in the affirmative.

The Cayman Island batsmen discovered that and more to their surprise. It was only the youngster’s second game in the competition and it made him a permanent member of the team for the remaining matches.

Only one previously he played for the Argentina Under-15 team at 11 years old, shortly after being introduced to the game at his school club.

After acquiring a cricket scholarship at the school, Musiani knew immediately he wanted to play cricket and no other sport.

Not even soccer.

He even introduced cricket to his family members

And in only his first stint with the Argentina Under-19 team, Lautaro, added another quality to his game as already the youngest member of the side is developing into the model team man.

Several times during our interview, he interrupted the conversation to lustily applaud a good shot and shout words of encouragement when Argentina batted against the Bahamas.

Being a good bowler is not enough though, for the youngster, as he is working on his batting and fielding to become a legitimate all-rounder.

Even if Argentina might be `light’ years away from acquiring Test status, Lautaro is not deterred. He has set his sights on a professional career, playing in the English county championships.

And who knows, with his talent, desire and enthusiasm, England might soon be welcoming its first Argentinean to the county ranks.

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