Australia include 7-year-old Archie Schiller in squad ahead of Boxing Day Test
Archie Schiller (Image courtesy (Cricket.com.au)

In an extremely warm gesture, the Australian cricket team added seven-year-old Archie Schiller to their 15-member squad ahead of their Boxing Day Test against India. Archie is a cricket enthusiast who was diagnosed with a heart condition at a very young age. As per it, Archie has faulty valves and has undergone surgery thrice. Having fought fierce battles off the ground, Christmas has come early for Archie, who was named co-captain of the side alongside Tim Paine.

The move has been made possible by the Make-A-Wish Australia foundation, and the announcement was made earlier on Sunday, just a day after Archie turned seven on Saturday, by Paine during the BUPA Family Day at Yarra Park. Archie bowls leg spin and even though he is not able to play cricket regularly and frequently, his aim is to captain the Australia national cricket team.

During Australia’s tour of the UAE, coach Justin Langer had personally given Archie the news of his inclusion in the squad through a phone call. “He (Archie) has been through some tough times, spent a lot of time in a hospital bed. So any way that we can help to put a smile on his face, it’s the very least we can do for him,” Langer had said.

Archie Schiller, Australia's 7-year-old 'co-captain'. (Image courtesy" Cricket.com.au)
Archie Schiller, Australia’s 7-year-old ‘co-captain’. (Image courtesy: Cricket.com.au)

Archie is often seen involved during Australia’s practice sessions and got the chance of doing so again on Sunday when he rubbed shoulder with some of his heroes.

“Obviously Arch has been through a really tough period and his family,” Paine said. “When his dad asked him what he wanted to do, he said ‘I want to captain Australia’. I think it’s been picked up along the way and we’re rapt to have someone like that around. He adds a bit of perspective I think.

“Sometimes we live a life, it’s very good, but you can be consumed in your own life at times, so to have someone like that around is actually really inspiring for our group. It’s great to have him around and we look forward to his debut on Boxing Day.”