Perth Scorchers star Ashton Agar to face brother Wes on Boxing Day after spending Christmas together

Christmas cricket for the Agar family is set to blast from the backyard to the big stage.

For the first time since 2018, Perth Scorchers star Ashton Agar had his family back together for a special Christmas Day on Sunday. And he said the great Australian tradition of a backyard battle was a menu staple.

On Monday, he and his younger brother Wes will then resume competition in the middle of Optus Stadium as their respective Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers square off for a BBL Boxing Day bonanza. Agar said his wife Madi had recently gifted him for his birthday a tennis ball dispenser, which formed the centrepiece of the Christmas cricket action.

“Whenever my brothers and I are together, there is backyard cricket, you can count on that,” Agar said.

Whenever my brothers and I are together, there is backyard cricket, you can count on that.

“We fed tennis balls to each other and it was hilarious. Backyard cricket is the thing we love the most and the competitiveness will always be there.

“When you’re bowling, you want to bat so you’re trying to get the other one out and when you’re batting you don’t want to give the bat away so you’re trying to bat as well as you can.”

But Agar did admit that casting the Christmas cheer aside for the BBL contest against Wes would force a more serious turn.

“It is a bit surreal, even more so when I watch him on tv,” he said.

“I’m really protective of Wes. It starts with the TV on loud, listening to the commentators and watching him bowl. Then I start getting nervous, then the commentators start saying something about him, so I mute the volume and I want to smash the TV.

“When he’s going well, it’s like the best thing ever. But when we get to play each other, it’s just another game of cricket. The first couple of times it was pretty weird, but we’ve both played enough now to not get too stressed about it all.”

Agar said COVID and border lockdowns had kept his family apart for the past three Christmases with him living in Perth since 2011, his parents Sonia Hewawissa and John Agar at his childhood Melbourne home, Wes in the Adelaide hills and another younger brother Will also in Melbourne.

Camera IconPerth Scorchers star Ashton Agar at a past family Christmas in Melbourne with his parents John Agar and Sonia Hewawissa and brothers Wes and Will. Credit: Supplied

“If you think back to COVID and Melbourne getting hit really hard and WA closing the borders, I just didn’t see my family at all,” he said.

“It was really difficult, to be honest, because I’m very close with my family. It’s no secret I love them very much and I speak very openly about that. I’ve lived away for almost 11 years now, so all the time I get with them is very precious.

“To have everyone over at my house and that beautiful energy that comes with it is huge.”

Agar said his mother’s Sri Lankan heritage and her commitment to her family traditions always added a special edge to their Christmas celebrations. It included a particularly sweet Sri Lankan iced coffee, which he said was better for his mental health than it was for his fitness, and a spiced-up Christmas cake.

“Mum loves getting the opportunity to cook for all of her boys, which is a good thing because me catering for Christmas would be an absolute nightmare,” he said with more than a hint of anticipation.

“It’s something that’s really special to her, it’s part of her culture and something her mum did so well. It’s something that brings everybody together and we’ll all relax together and have a good time.

“You invite people over, everyone feels extremely welcome and eats a lot of food and no one feels uncomfortable. You can be loud and there is no formality … it’s a very open, accepting place and that’s the Sri Lankan flair of it all.”

Ashton and Wes Agar.
Camera IconAshton and Wes Agar. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Agar has played 69 matches for the Scorchers and has a top score of 68. He said it would be “a gift” to lift both numbers to 70 on Boxing Day.

He said he was proud of what he had achieved with the Scorchers and was looking forward to another epic Boxing Day at Optus Stadium. His only item on his Christmas wish-list was a win.

“Moving to Perth is the best thing I’ve ever done and I’m proud to call myself a West Australian now,” he said.

“I love it, it’s home, my life is set up here and it’s given me so much opportunity. Optus Stadium on Boxing Day is a great place to be and it’s just a lot of fun when you have that crowd behind you.

“It gets really loud quickly and I wouldn’t want to be the opposition.”

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