Emerging New South Wales Blues batsman and product of the Hunter, Jason Sangha, is among a host of exciting young cricketers named in the ACT/NSW Country Under 17 and Under 19 squads for each of the respective National Championships in 2018.
Sangha recently led the Australia Under 19 World Cup team to the Final of that tournament held in New Zealand during January and February and will again lead the Under 19 ACT/NSW Country team during the national titles.
He will be joined by promising talent from the Greater Illawarra region, Iain Carlisle, who has played seven matches for his country at the Under 19 level. Will Fort (Central North) and Glenn Winsor (Newcastle) are also key inclusions in the squad.
Australian Under 16 representative, Dubbo allrounder Brock Larance (Western), has been selected in the ACT/NSW Country Under 17 squad after some solid performances for the Cricket Australia XI in that age group at the National Championships last season.
Toby Gray (Newcastle) also featured for the Cricket Australia XI during those championships. Dominic O’Shannessy (ACT/Southern Districts) was the spearhead for ACT/NSW Country at the 2017 titles.
Warren Smith Medallist at the recent Under 16 Basil Sellers State Challenge held in mid-April, Charles Mitchell (North Coast), is another key selection in the Under 17 squad.
The medal is awarded to the Country player that demonstrates the best performances and spirit of the game throughout the State Challenge.
Sangha was recently promoted from his rookie status on the 2018-19 NSW Blues contract list which continued a significant 12 months in his young career.
The right-handed top-order batsman scored his maiden First-Class century in just his second First-Class match in November.
He scored a brilliant 133 for the Cricket Australia XI against England at Townsville in the second of two tour matches that squad played against the tourists.
He was also the leading run-scorer for Australia at the Under 19 World Cup earlier this year. He amassed 229 runs at 38.16.
Sangha, Carlisle, Jordie Misic (ACT/Southern Districts) and Blake Nikitaras (Greater Illawarra) are the only four players that remain from the Under 19 ACT/NSW Country team that competed at the National Championships last year.
Carlisle returned the best bowling figures of the tournament at the Under 19 National Championships in 2017 with figures of 6/29 against Tasmania. He claimed ten wickets at 23.4.
Fort and Winsor both played for the Cricket Australia XI at last year’s championships but played a limited role and will be hoping to make a significant impact for ACT/NSW Country this year.
Cricket NSW Coaching and Talent Manager for the Country, and former Blues fast bowler, Mark Cameron, said it was pleasing to see new players added into the squad, who had not been involved with the CNSW Academies at U17s.
“Tom Atlee, Rupert Lilburne, Lachlan Barnsley and Jake Hardy have all earned positions due to dominant performances at country carnivals,” said Cameron.
Barnsley and Hardy performed particularly well during the McDonald’s Country Colts competition held throughout December 2017.
Barnsley was the second leading run-scorer for the tournament with 200 runs to his name at the excellent average of 50. Hardy was fourth on that list with 185 runs at 46.25.
Fort was the leading run-scorer with 282 runs at 141. He was only dismissed the twice and made a highest score of 156 not out against Illawarra.
Cameron said the selections of Barnsley, Hardy, Atlee and Lilburne were testament to the “multi-entrance, multi-exit pathway.”
“Kyle Piper will lead the Program which will tie in nicely with the ACT/NSW Country Futures League squad and will provide stability of coaching for our older players,” he said.
Larance will be a pivotal member of the Under 17 squad and his experience at the International level against Pakistan in April would appear to bode well for his ongoing development.
He claimed three wickets throughout the six-match series at the very tidy economy rate of three and scored 75 handy runs at 25.00.
Although an aggressive top-order batsman, Larance has shown himself to be a real weapon with ball in hand. He was the leading wicket-taker throughout the McDonald’s Country Colts competition with nine wickets at 13.22.
O’Shannessy was the leading wicket-taker at the 2017 Under 17 National Championships. He claimed 16 wickets at 13.63.
Gray produced some solid leg-spin during the recent Under 16 State Challenge. He only claimed the two wickets but was hard to get away conceding just four runs per over.
The star of that tournament however was Mitchell. He was the leading run-scorer during the Under 16 State Challenge with 137 runs at 45.67 including two fifties.
ACT/NSW Country team mate Ben Moyle (North Coast) also impressed with 122 runs at 40.67.
The Under 17 program will be overseen by Coaching and Talent Manager of Cricket Performance for the Riverina/Western region, Greg McLay, after his successful three seasons as Head Coach of the Under 19 Male ACT/NSW Country side.
Under 19 ACT/NSW Country Squad
Under 17 ACT/NSW Country Squad