London - Dom Sibley made his maiden Test century for England in the second
Test against South Africa but he had already scooped his family a record
£21 600 thanks to his late grandfather Kenneth MacKenzie's
faith in his talent.
MacKenzie died in 2011 four months after placing two bets on his
then-teenage grandson - first at 150/1 then at 66/1 - that he would
one day play for his country.
That talent-spotting bore fruit when the 24-year-old opening batsman
made his Test debut against New Zealand in November last year.
His family had no idea they could benefit from a posthumous payout
until MacKenzie's daughter Christine Sibley, Dom's mother, went to a
William Hill betting shop in Surrey, in the southeast of England.
"He'd have been so proud of Dom's achievement, so watching him was
tinged with sadness, but he'd also have been delighted at pulling off
the bet at massive odds," she told The Times.
Although Mackenzie spotted something special in his grandson when he
was just five he bided his time till he was 16 before placing the first
"It was unreal that Dom's grampi saw the potential and invested in
the bet - he was very, very keen and passionate about cricket," said
"Dom was five when he originally said he could play for England - by
the time he was seven or eight he was playing for the under-9s and that
was when the enquiries were made at William Hill about the odds.
"He went back a few years later and told them he thought the odds
were a bit skinny, but they honoured the bet," added the 57-year-old.
The cashier told The Times it was one of the more unusual payouts.
"I've never seen two slips worth £21 600 like these before in nearly
four years here - it's even more unusual that the bets have been landed
from beyond the grave," Tyler Golledge told the newspaper.
William Hill spokesperson Rupert Adams said it was a remarkable bit of talent-spotting.
"This is a record-breaking payout for any such bet involving a cricket protégé," he said.
"Dom clearly made a massive impression on his adoring grandfather."