New South Wales Metropolitan selectors have chosen two squads of 14 players to compete at the annual Male Under 16 State Challenge carnival at Raby Sports Complex from 14-18 April.
The two squads include Australian Under 16 representatives Nivethan Radhakrishnan and Ryley Smith, among other emerging talents, who performed strongly in the prestigious Under 16 AW Green Shield during December and January, as well the Under 15 Male National Championships.
As has been the case in previous years the State Challenge will include four teams. Two will represent metropolitan NSW and two will comprise players from country areas of the state and those in the ACT.
One team from metropolitan NSW and ACT/NSW Country will represent each of the Sydney Big Bash League franchises, the Thunder and Sixers.
ACT/NSW Country teams are yet to be announced.
Cricket NSW Coaching and Talent Manager for Metropolitan NSW, Gavan Twining, said the State Challenge will provide an opportunity to aspirants seeking selection for NSW Metro at the Under 17 National Championships next season.
A train-on squad will be selected to prepare for those national titles, over the winter months, before a final squad is chosen.
“We are excited to have the best Under 16 players from metropolitan and country areas all together at the one venue to showcase their talent,” said Twining.
Ambidextrous allrounder Radhakrishnan and opening batter Smith recently toured the United Arab Emirates with the Australian Under 16 team that played five Youth One-Day Internationals and a one-off T20 International in January.
Smith, Radhakrishnan and wicketkeeper Lachlan Shaw all competed at the Under 17 National Championships last year in Queensland.
Shaw played seven matches for Metro at those championships, while Smith and Radhakrishnan were selected for the Cricket Australia XI that competed at that tournament.
Twining said several players selected for the State Challenge also performed strongly for the 2018/19 Green Shield champions Northern District.
“Leg-spinner and leading wicket-taker Yash Patel, allrounder Jayden Camp and opening batsman Corey Miller performed so well in that victory over Manly-Warringah in the final.”
Four of the players selected were also chosen in a 20-player Cricket Australia XI squad following the Under 15 national titles completed in February on the Sunshine Coast.
“Joel Davies, Gaurav Dogra, William Salzmann and Ethan Jamieson have been selected for this State Challenge as under age players,” said Twining.
Davies, younger brother of Australian Under 19 representative and Sydney Sixers Development Rookie Ollie Davies, captained NSW Magenta to the Under 15 national crown.
He finished the tournament as the leading run-scorer with 267 runs at an average of 66.75, including two centuries, one of which came in the final against Queensland.