Four Australian Under 19 male representatives were among 13 promising young cricketers to receive the prestigious Basil Sellers Scholarship on Wednesday night.
Batsmen Lachlan Hearne, 18, Yuvraj Sharma, 17, 18-year-old fast bowler Liam Marshall, and leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha, also 17, all represented Australia at Under 19 level during the last 12 months.
In its 14th year, seven first-time scholars were inducted including Sangha and Sharma. Hearne and Marshall are among six cricketers who received their second Scholarship.
The 13 scholars, seven male and six female, were welcomed into the program by Basil Sellers AM at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
The seven new scholars takes the total number inducted since 2006/07 to 125.
Seventeen-year-old allrounders Brock Larance and Dharmini Chauhan also received their second scholarship and were among a select group chosen in the male and female Indigenous teams to tour the United Kingdom during June last year.
The tour commemorated the 150th anniversary of the 1868 pioneers, a group of 13 male Aboriginal cricketers that became the first Australian sporting team to tour overseas.
Chauhan and first-time scholar seam bowling allrounder Olivia Porter, 17, were both part of the NSW Metropolitan team that won the One-Day title at the Under 18 Female National Championships in January.
Sharma became only the seventh 16-year-old to score a century in Men's Sydney First Grade last season playing for Fairfield-Liverpool.
Eighteen past scholars have gone on to represent Australia at Test, One-Day or T20 level including current super stars Ellyse Perry and Steve Smith.
Past scholar and off-spinning allrounder Ashleigh Gardner became the second Indigenous woman to make her Test debut in July during the Women’s Ashes.
The Basil Sellers Scholarship program supports scholars and their families with expenses such as education, travel and the cost of relocation from regional areas.
Mr Sellers emphasised the importance of scholars balancing cricket and education in his speech to the inductees, parents, cricket officials and guests.
“With the best endeavours, the facts are that only eleven players are selected for this country and this state at one time,” said Mr Sellers.
“While I hope you will all make it, this is obviously impossible, so you must not neglect your studies.”
Mr Sellers also stressed to the scholars the importance of playing within the Spirit of Cricket.
“We want you to play to win, but you must respect your opponents, and play in the right spirit.”
Cricket NSW Chief Executive Lee Germon said the encouragement and financial assistance provided to all past and present scholars was invaluable.
“It provides the first signal to some of our youngest players that they might have a future in the sport we all love,” Mr Germon said.
“The practical impact of financial assistance to defray the often high costs of travel, training, coaching and schooling is very significant, especially for players from regional NSW.