New South Wales is the best represented state in the 2018/19 Cricket Australia Pathways Rookie Squad, with eleven emerging male players selected in the elite group of 39 cricketers.
Queensland are the closest in terms of representation with eight players named in the squad.
Nine of the 11 players announced in the 39-player squad on Friday are currently involved in the Under 17 National Championships in Queensland with either the NSW Metro or ACT/NSW Country teams.
NSW Metro captain and Australian Under 16 representative Mac Jenkins, is one of seven Under 17 NSW Metro players named.
The left-arm orthodox spinner joins fellow Australian Under 16 players Campbelltown-Camden leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha, fast bowler Brad Simpson and allrounder Hugh Sherriff, as well as batsmen Zeeshaan Ahmed and Yuvraj Sharma, and Blacktown wicketkeeper, batter Dhruv Kant, as the seven NSW Metro players selected in the squad.
Newcastle spinner Toby Gray and Australian Under 16 allrounder, Brock Larance, were the two players from the ACT/NSW Country Under 17 squad selected.
Gray is also captain of the Under 17 ACT/NSW Country team competing at the national titles.
Promising fast bowler from Bowral in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Dominic O’Shannessy, and Sebastian Buchanan from the Sydney Cricket Club, complete the eleven NSW cricketers named in the CA Pathways Rookie Squad.
Both NSW Metro and ACT/NSW Country have registered three wins to put them top of their respective pools at the Under 17 National Championships.
The national rookie squad this year is a smaller group – reduced from 53 to 39 – with the decision made not to include the 14 players selected in the Australia Under 16 side as per previous years, due to that squad having its own development program.
Three NSW cricketers were named in the Australian Under 16 squad announced earlier this year.
Connor Cook, Nivethan Radhakrishnan and Ryley Smith are the three players selected in this squad to play against Pakistan in Dubai during January.
All three are also currently representing a Cricket Australia XI at the Under 17 national titles.
Cricket Australia Pathways Manager Graham Manou, who played one Test match and four One-Day Internationals for Australia, said that the CA Pathways Rookie Squad gives the 39 emerging players selected the opportunity to develop both as cricketers and young men.
“The CA Pathways Rookie Squad is now entering its fourth season,” Manou said.
“It’s a chance for them to get specialist support at both a State and National level from a skills perspective, and also in areas such as their off-field education.
“A select group will then take part in a high-performance camp at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in 2019.”
A group of 24 players from within the Pathways Rookie Squad will be selected, following the Under 17 Male Championships, to take part in this Cricket Australia rookie camp.
The camp is designed to give those selected a taste of what life as an elite cricketer entails.
2018 CA Pathways Rookie Squad
New South Wales: Zeeshaan Ahmed (Bankstown), Sebastian Buchanan (Sydney), Toby Gray (Belmont), Mac Jenkins (Randwick Petersham), Dhruv Kant (Blacktown), Brock Larance (Dubbo CYMS), Dominic O’Shannessy (East Bowral Blues), Tanveer Sangha (Campbelltown Camden), Yuvraj Sharma (Fairfield-Liverpool), Hugh Sheriff (Sydney), Brad Simpson (Bankstown).
Victoria: Jake Fraser-McGurk (Monash Tigers), Campbell Griffiths (Merbein South), Harrish Kannan (Ringwood), Yash Pednekar (Monash Tigers), Miles Sellenger (St Kilda), Zac Sleeman (Monash Tigers), Dylan Tibballs (Ringwood).
South Australia: Isaac Higgins (Glenelg), Harry Mathias (Sturt), Cooper McKenzie (Prospect), Joshua Sims (Kensington).
Queensland: Hugo Burdon (Gold Coast), Jet Liebke (Sandgate-Redcliffe), Dylan Kritzinger (Redlands), Mitch Pascoe (Sandgate-Redcliffe), Will Prestwidge (Northern Suburbs), Will Sanders (University), Jackson Sinfield (Redlands), Harry Weir (Met East Toowoomba).
Western Australia: Brodee Foster (Gosnells), Jayden Goodwin (Colts), Michael Herbst (Wanneroo), Ewan Neilson (Melville), Jacob Wagenknecht (Gosnells).
Tasmania: Will Collins (North Hobart), Nick Davis (North Hobart), Mitchell Owen (Kingborough), Sam Wright (New Town).
Australia Under 16 Squad
Connor Cook (NSW, Port Pirates), Keegan de Koker (WA, Fremantle), Felix Ford (ACT, Canberra Grammar), Campbell Kellaway (VIC, Melbourne), Dylan McAteer (QLD, Ipswich Brothers), Noah McFadyen (QLD, Northern Suburbs), Jamieson Murphy (SA, Woodville), Nivethan Radhakrishnan (NSW, Bankstown), Sam Rahaley (SA, Kensington), Shobit Singh (VIC, Casey-South Melbourne), Ryley Smith (NSW, Penrith), Tobias Snell (QLD, Northern Suburbs), Aubrey Stockdale (QLD, Toombul), Devlin Webb (VIC, Frankston Peninsula).