Eleven of the best young cricketers in NSW have been selected as 2020 Basil Sellers Scholars.

Among the players awarded a scholarship are eight first-time scholars. Two Australian Under 19 representatives, batsman Yuvraj Sharma, 18, and fast bowler Brad Simpson, 18, receive their second scholarship along with leg-spinner Jade Allen, 16.

The eight new scholars take the total number inducted since 2006/07 to 133.

In its 15th year, the program awards scholarships to promising male and female cricketers under 19.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the annual presentation evening is unable to be held this year.

Sydney Thunder swing bowler Kate Peterson received her first Basil Sellers Scholarship along with left-arm finger spinner and allrounder Alisha Bates, who was signed by the Sydney Sixers last season.

Ambidextrous finger spinner and allrounder Nivethan Radhakrishnan, who represented Australia at Under 16 level in 2019, also receives his first Basil Sellers Scholarship.

Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon

All eleven players have progressed through the Cricket NSW Pathway system representing either NSW Metropolitan or ACT/NSW Country at various Underage National Championships.

Since its inception 18 scholars have gone on to represent Australia, including Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy.

The Scholarship supports scholars and their families with expenses such as education, travel and the cost of relocation from regional areas.

In addition, the Scholars are also offered a two-year Team Kookaburra equipment sponsorship, through the generous support of Kookaburra, one of Cricket NSW’s longstanding partners.

Founder and philanthropist Basil Sellers AM said each of the 11 Scholars this year have a great opportunity to pursue their dream of becoming elite cricketers.

“While I cannot congratulate the Scholars in person this year due to the current coronavirus pandemic, I am very pleased that this program can continue to support emerging young cricketers,” Mr Sellers said.

“While this is a time of great excitement in a young player’s life, it is also a time where enormous commitment is required as they strive to take the next step.

“This commitment also involves ensuring that our next generation of cricketers do not underestimate the importance of maintaining the balance between cricket and education.

“Many scholars have progressed to play for NSW and Australia, but the facts are that only eleven players are selected for this country and state at any time.”

Mr Sellers also stressed the importance of playing the game in the right spirit.

“Being an elite cricketer can bring great joy, but it also carries great responsibilities not only to all those who are being represented but to the game itself.

“The Spirit of Cricket is enshrined in the laws of the game.

“It is important to play to win, but respect for your opponents and the way cricket is played must be paramount.

“Good luck to you all and I look forward to following your progress in the years to come.”

Cricket NSW Chief Executive Lee Germon said Mr Sellers was one of the greatest philanthropists in Australian sport and thanked him for his incredible support of cricket in NSW.

“Basil is generous by nature, he has a deep love of cricket and he is totally committed to not only supporting our players on the field, but off the field as well,” said Mr Germon.

 

Basil Sellers Scholars 2020/21

Jade Allen*

Leg-spinner

ACT/Southern Districts

Alisha Bates

Allrounder

Central Coast

Jessica Davidson

Fast bowler

Central Northern

Angelina Genford

Allrounder

Bankstown

Toby Gray

Allrounder

Newcastle

Caelan Maladay

Fast bowler

North Coastal

Kate Peterson

Allrounder

Penrith

Nivethan Radhakrishnan

Allrounder

Hawkesbury

Yuvraj Sharma*

Batter

Fairfield-Liverpool

Brad Simpson*

Fast bowler

Bankstown

Hunar Verma

Fast bowler

Blacktown

*Second Basil Sellers Scholarship

 

The 18 scholars to have represented Australia:

Sean Abbott

Nicola Carey

Lauren Cheatle

Patrick Cummins

Ashleigh Gardner

Josh Hazlewood

Alyssa Healy

Phillip Hughes

Usman Khawaja

Nic Maddinson

Erin Osborne

Kurtis Patterson

Ellyse Perry

Gurinder Sandhu

Steven Smith

Naomi Stalenberg

Mitchell Starc

Adam Zampa

*Test players in bold