Hundreds of the best young male and female cricketers across New South Wales will be in action next week when the four-day State Challenge begins on Sunday at Raby Sports Complex.

The tournament will comprise two female divisions for Under 15 and Under 18 girls, and one competition for Under 16 boys. Importantly, it will play a significant role in future selections for the respective National Championships across all age groups.

Each of the Sydney Sixers and Thunder franchises will be represented by a metropolitan and country team in the three competitions. The Under 18 female division will also include a Country Breakers squad for the purposes of the tournament. 

The Under 15 girls will play four T20 matches and two 40-over games. The Under 18 female schedule includes three 50-over fixtures and four T20 matches, whereas the Under 16 boys play six 50-over games over three days.

Numerous exciting young talents will be doing their best to get their respective teams over the line and impress selectors.

Eight players selected in the elite Cricket Australia Under 15 squad will participate in the tournament. These names include Parramatta batter Molly Godsell (Metro Thunder) and allrounder Kate Peterson (Metro Thunder), Bankstown Sports allrounder Angelina Genford (Metro Thunder), and numerous cricketers from the regions.

Grace Dignam (Country Thunder), Isabella Greig (Country Sixers), Jessica Davidson (Country Breakers), Deni Baker (Country Sixers) and Jade Allen (Country Thunder) are all included in that Cricket Australia squad and will be representing their country areas over the four days.

Allen was the leading wicket taker for NSW Metro at the Under 15 National Championships in Adelaide during January. She claimed 12 wickets at 14.08.

Godsell, Peterson, Genford, Dignam, Greig and Davidson will all be playing in the Under 18 age group.

Every player from the last three ACT/NSW Country championship winning teams at the Under 15 national titles will also be competing in the Under 18 Female State Challenge.

Other promising young cricketers in the tournament include Blacktown opener Yuvraj Sharma (Metro Sixers), prodigious young Bankstown batsman Zeeshaan Ahmed (Metro Thunder) and ACT/NSW Country cricketers Dominic O’Shannessy (Country Sixers) and Broc Hardy (Country Sixers), who all participated in the Under 17 National Championships held in Brisbane during September.  

O’Shannessy was the leading wicket taker at those Championships with a tally of 16 wickets at 13.63.

His ACT/NSW Country team mate and all-rounder Broc Hardy scored 135 runs at 27.00 and collected 10 wickets at 27.3.

Ahmed was the leading run-scorer in the 2017-18 Under 16 AW Green Shield competition. He made 345 runs at 57.5 with a highest score of 154 not out.

Talented top order batter for Northern District in the Under 17 Brewer Shield this season, Clare Webber (Country Sixers), is another exciting prospect seeking to be top of mind for selectors. 

Webber was also a member of the victorious ACT/NSW Country team at the most recent Under 15 National Championships.   

Both Under 15 Metropolitan teams will be captained by representatives of the NSW Metro team at the National Championships, Claire Moore (Sixers) and Hayley Elliott (Thunder).

Winners of each competition will be determined by the most number of victories and net run-rate.

Please visit http://www.nswpathways.nsw.cricket.com.au/ for full team lists.