Blues fast bowler Josh Lalor and NSW U/17 spinner Jonte Pattison are just two of the five NSW players named in the preliminary National Indigenous Development squad announced today.
Lalor and Pattison are joined by fellow New South Welshmen Lain Beckett, Ben Mitchell and Nathan Price while Jeff Cook, who is the captain of the NSW Indigenous team, has been named as an Assistant Coach.
The squad will take part in a Top End Cricket Carnival this September (13-19) in Darwin, with a number of T20 and 50 over matches scheduled against teams representing ICC East Asia Pacific, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory.
Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager, Greg Chappell, said the players were selected based on their performances at the Imparja Cup, as well as club cricket and state competitions last summer.
“There is some significant talent within this squad and our aim is to really foster that and help take it to the next level. These players have been selected based on their potential to develop into elite cricketers. We hope the experience of playing in this tournament will help expose each player to the professionalism associated with high-level competition and what it takes to succeed at the top,” Chappell said.
“Opportunities like the Top End Cricket Carnival build on the foundations set by our participation programs which aim to create a pathway for Indigenous Australians to play the game with an ultimate aim of one day earning a Baggy Green cap.”
The preliminary squad announcement coincides with Australian cricket’s annual participation campaign, PlayCricket, an online information resource which is designed to encourage all Australians to get involved, no matter who they are, where they come from or whether they’ve ever picked up a bat or ball.
At www.playcricket.com.au, people can find out all they need to know about how to get involved with cricket. From junior participation, to veterans leagues, to new short format options, the website will put people in touch with clubs and indoor cricket centres that offer the type of cricket they’re looking for – relevant to their location.