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Alex Carey jokingly thanks Kevin Sheedy for rejecting him at GWS Giants after hitting his maiden ton

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Alex Carey jokingly thanks Kevin Sheedy for rejecting him at GWS Giants after hitting his maiden ton

Alex Carey jokingly credits Kevin Sheedy for rejecting him at the GWS Giants after hitting his maiden ton at the MCG as the footy snub that helped launch his cricket career

  • Alex Carey scored a maiden Test ton with a chanceless 111 against South Africa
  • He joins the late Rod Marsh as the only wicket-keepers to make a Test ton at the MCG
  • Carey captained the GWS Under-18 team before the club joined the AFL
  • But Kevin Sheedy told him he wouldn’t make the roster at the pro-level
  • Australia lead South Africa by 371 runs after declaring at 8-575 on day three
  • Click here for all your latest international sports news on Daily Mail Australia

Alex Carey has paid tribute to AFL great Kevin Sheedy after joining the illustrious club of Australian wicket-keepers to score a Test century.

The 31-year-old made a flawless 111 at the MCG as Australia declared 8-575 on the third day of the second Test against South Africa to close out taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

It was a special moment for Carey, although he never dreamed of it growing up as he hoped to make history at the iconic Melbourne venue with a Sherrin in his hands, rather than a cricket.

Carey played cricket and footy in his teenage years and became GWS’s first captain when they contested the under-18s competition in 2010.

But when the Giants made their AFL debut, Sheedy told him he was too slow for the demands of professional football and devoted himself full-time to cricket.

‘I have to thank Kevin Sheedy that it was a Test hundred instead of running with GWS on the footy field, he pointed me in the direction of cricket,’ Carey told the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.

Sheedy, who coached the Giants in their inaugural AFL season, joked he would send Carey an invoice for his services after it became clear he had made the right career choice.

Kevin Sheedy coached GWS in their inaugural AFL season in 2012

Kevin Sheedy coached GWS in their inaugural AFL season in 2012

‘I will send him an invoice with 10 per cent as his performance manager after I tell him cricket is the game for him,’ he said.

‘It was a sensational achievement. Honestly, I don’t know if he’ll be as good as he is. […]

‘He made the right decision. […] Everyone at the Giants always knew he was going to do something, but we weren’t sure it was going to be in the AFL.’

Carey was dropped by South Australia after three Sheffield Shield games and took up wicket-keeping, eventually impressing for Australia in white-ball cricket.

Carey made a chanceless 111 off 149 balls before being caught and bowled by Marco Jansen

Carey made a chanceless 111 off 149 balls before being caught and bowled by Marco Jansen

But with fellow South Australian Tim Paine ahead of him in the pecking order, Carey had to bide his time to have a crack at Test level until last year, when the former Australian captain resigned.

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Carey hasn’t looked back since and on Wednesday he joined the late Rod Marsh as the only wicket-keepers to score a Test century at the MCG.

He was also the first wicket-keeper to score a Test ton for Australia since Brad Haddin made 118 at the Adelaide Oval in the second Test of the 2013-14 Ashes.

At 34.80, Carey’s Test average is second only to Adam Gilchrist among the 34 players who have kept wicket for Australia’s men’s Test team.

The 31-year-old is the first Australian wicket-keeper to score a Test ton since Brad Haddin made 118 in the second Test of the 2013-14 Ashes series at the Adelaide Oval

The 31-year-old is the first Australian wicket-keeper to score a Test ton since Brad Haddin made 118 in the second Test of the 2013-14 Ashes series at the Adelaide Oval

To put Gilchrist’s impact in context, of those 34 wicket-keepers, only seven scored a Test ton for Australia and he accounted for 17 of the 32 centuries combined.

Reflecting on his journey, Carey spoke of his pride in being a respected company.

‘I am very proud. It was, I think, a bumpy journey along the way – footy not working out and cricket not working out after a few games,’ he said.

Of the 32 Test centuries scored by Australian wicket-keepers, 17 were by Adam Gilchrist

Of the 32 Test centuries scored by Australian wicket-keepers, 17 were by Adam Gilchrist

‘I never gave up hope of playing sport at the highest level and continued to try to chase that goal and dream.

‘Hopefully there will be a little more to come […] and that’s done with a lot of support around.

‘It’s one of those things – don’t give up on what you want and hope it comes. It’s just my luck that it came to me.’

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