Ten of the 16 players training with the Cricket NSW High Performance Transition squad have been selected for an important trial match in Blacktown between NSW Metro and ACT/NSW Country ahead of the Toyota Futures League season starting in October.
Among the 10 players, four Blues rookies will feature in the 12-man NSW Metro squad for the three-day practice match at Blacktown International Sports Park No. 2. Those cricketers are teenage opener Ryan Hackney, batsman Jordan Gauci, wicketkeeper, batsman Baxter Holt and fiery left-arm quick Chad Sammut.
The Transition Academy squad was introduced in August as an important addition to the Pathway program for cricketers on the fringe of First Class, One-Day domestic or Big Bash league cricket with all players eligible for Futures League selection.
Manly-Warringah captain Jay Lenton is one of four Transition squad players selected for ACT/NSW Country and will again lead the side as he did during the Futures League last season. Emerging wicketkeeper, batsman Matthew Gilkes, and fast bowling duo Nathan McAndrew and Tom Pinson are also in the 12.
NSW Metro includes six Transition squad members with prolific run-scorer Daniel Solway and teenage allrounder Austin Waugh joining the four Blues rookies.
Eight Blues will feature for NSW Metro in the trial match led by NSW debutant in the Sheffield Shield last season, Param Uppal.
Uppal, 19, is joined by fellow Shield debutant last season Daniel Fallins, Blues paceman Charlie Stobo and batsman Nick Bertus, as well as the four rookies.
Many of the players to take part in this trial match performed strongly in the Futures League last season.
Lenton was the second leading run-scorer in the 2017/18 Futures League. He scored 538 runs at the outstanding average of 53.8.
Solway was the leading run-scorer for NSW Metro. He scored 416 runs at 41.6 in the Futures League last season to couple with 1268 runs at 79.3 posted in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket. This tally for Bankstown included six centuries.
ACT/NSW Country fast bowling allrounder McAndrew, who was among the five leading wicket takers in the Futures League last season, claimed 19 dismissals at 24.32 in 2017/18.
The match will be crucial preparation for the start of the Futures League campaign of both sides.
ACT/NSW Country begin their season against Queensland at Manuka Oval from 8-11 October. While NSW Metro commence its campaign against Tasmania in Sydney between 15-18 October.
Param Uppal (captain)
Jay Lenton (captain)