Brisbane, Jan.31 (ANI): Having lost his parents by the time he was 21, Australia's latest batting star Peter Forrest is only thinking of forging ahead, though his first impulse on being selected, was to think about ringing them up and giving them the good news.
Forrest carries the tattoo "Vanda" on his right arm in memory of his mother, who lost a seven-year battle with cancer when he was 18 and sitting for his HSC exams.
Three years later, he was preparing for a Shield game for New South Wales against Queensland when he received a call to tell him his father Ian, a former rugby league player with Parramatta, had died of a heart attack while walking home from a charity golf day.
Forrest refuses to be downcast about the tragic setbacks, and his selection for the Australian one-day squad was received as heartily in Queensland Cricket offices yesterday as if he were a Bulls veteran, such has been the zest he has brought to the team this season.
Behind the ready smile lies a story of great determination.
"It was a tough time going through the loss of mum and dad, but the type of people they were, they would have wanted me to move on and get on with things," the Courier Mail quoted Forrest, as saying.
"I was not brought up to dwell on things. I am not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Plenty of people are worse off," he adds.
"But it's funny.... I did say to (fiancee) Rachel (Barker), they would be the first people I would ring. My nan and my auntie started bawling their eyes out when I told them (of the selection) and I quickly followed. It was a strange feeling. I suppose all the emotions you have surrounding all the work you do and how much you want it but I am bad in movies too. Every time there is some kind of emotion, I cry," Forrest said.
"I suppose now they (his parents) have the best seat in the house. It was a tough time. But it shaped me for the person I am," he added,
Forrest, 26, was caught by surprise yesterday when selection chairman John Inverarity woke him with the news he was in the one-day squad.
Like many others, Forrest felt his best chance might come in the longest form of the game.
"I have wanted to play for Australia since I was 10, but I didn't think I was a chance to play one-day cricket," he said.
Forrest, whose wedding date clashes with the end-of-season West Indian tour, was considered a fine prospect in NSW, but his form suffered after the death of his father.
"I had averaged 50 in first-class cricket before he died and after it, 11," Forrest said.
"I was stuck between (being) a professional sportsman not supposed to make excuses and the human side that was thinking 'What are you doing? You should not be playing'.
"I only realized that after the season was gone, how much it had affected me. (ANI)
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