Numerous New South Wales Blues rookies and many more talented young cricketers have been named in the Under 19 and Under 17 NSW Metro squads to compete in each of the respective 2018 National Championships later this year.
Blues’ rookies Manly-Warringah allrounder Jack Edwards and fellow rookie Eastern Suburbs wicketkeeper-batsman Baxter Holt, as well as talented Sutherland allrounder Austin Waugh headline the Under 19 NSW Metro squad.
All three played a part in the Australian Under 19 World Cup campaign held in New Zealand during January and February where Australia went down to India in the final. Both Edwards and Holt featured in the deciding match.
The Under 17 NSW Metro Squad also features a number of Australian representatives.
Randwick Petersham left-arm orthodox spinner Mac Jenkins, dynamic Campbelltown-Camden leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha, exciting fast bowler Brad Simpson and allrounder Hugh Sherriff all featured for the Australian Under 16s in their recent drawn series against Pakistan at the Junction Oval in late April and the four players will form a pivotal part of the NSW Metro Under 17 squad.
Edwards was prolific for his country throughout the Under 19 World Cup. He scored 216 runs at 43.2 with a highest score of 73 from 90 balls opening the batting against India in the pool rounds of the tournament.
Holt also performed admirably behind the stumps. He claimed eight catches and one stumping from six matches.
Edwards, Waugh and Holt were all key members of the NSW Metro team that claimed the Under 19 National Championships title last season with an emphatic 120-run win over the Cricket Australia XI in the Final.
Edwards made a magnificent 147 from 125 balls in that match and was subsequently named Player of the Final.
The last week has capped off a momentous 12 months for Edwards and Holt. On Thursday, the two teenagers were announced as two of six players included on the Blues 2018/19 rookie contract list and were among ten elite cricketers to be named in the 2018 Male National Performance Squad, who all begin their program in Brisbane on May 28.
Two other prodigious young talents selected in the Under 19 NSW Metro squad include batsmen Oliver Davies (Manly-Warringah) and Lachlan Hearne (Mosman).
During the 2017/18 season, both young men became the first two players born in the 21st century to score a hundred in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket.
Hearne made a record-breaking 158 not out against Campbelltown-Camden during round 14, and in the same round but a week later, Davies became the second batsman born this millennium to score a century when he completed his milestone against St George after resuming on 99 not out. He was dismissed for 119 from 132 deliveries.
At 17 years 74 days, no younger player had scored more runs in an innings in the Sydney First Grade competition than the 158 not out scored by Hearne.
Former Australian Test spinner and Assistant/Pathway Coach of Cricket Performance at Cricket NSW, Beau Casson, said the squad possessed a good blend of youth and experience.
“(It’s a) testament to the pathways system,” said Casson, who is also Head Coach of the Under 19 squad.
Casson said that seven players will have the opportunity to back up again after representing Metro 19’s last year, including Edwards, Holt, Waugh, Manly-Warringah allrounder Joel Foster, Manly team mate and promising batsman Aiden Bariol, Campbelltown-Camden leg-spinner Nathan Baker and Sydney University allrounder Ryan McElduff.
“There is going to plenty of hard work ahead for all the players and matching that up with healthy competition we look to create future Blues players,” Casson said.
Sangha was the equal leading wicket-taker for Australia during the series which included five limited-overs matches and one T20 match. He collected eight wickets at 18.25 with best figures of 4-12.
Cricket NSW Pathways and Assistant Coach for High Performance, Anthony Clark, and Head Coach of the Under 17 NSW Metro squad said the Australian Under 16 representatives added to an exciting squad.
Yuvraj Sharma will form a vital part of the NSW Metro defence of the Under 17s national title after he opened the batting with such distinction for NSW Metro at the 2017 national carnival.
Zeeshaan Ahmed was the leading run-scorer during the 2017/18 AW Green Shield competition which is considered by many the best under age tournament in Australia. He amassed 345 runs at 57.5 including the highest score of the competition, 154 not out from 137 balls.
Parramatta captain of the 2017/18 Green Shield champions, Harrison King – who was also selected in the Under 17 NSW Metro squad – was second on that list with 341 runs at 42.63.
“There are also two players picked out of the Under 15 schools carnival who will play for the Cricket Australia (XI) in the 17s national championship this year, Nivethan Radhakrishnan and Riley Smith,” said Clark.
Under 19 NSW Metro Squad 2018
|Sam Fanning||Northern District|
|Ajay Singh||Northern District|
|Liam Scott||Sydney CC|
|Harry Manenti||Sydney CC|
|Ryan McElduff||Sydney University|
|Tim Reynolds||North Sydney|
|Jack James||Randwick Petersham|
|Baxter Holt||Eastern Suburbs|
Under 17 NSW Metro Squad 2018
|Mac Jenkins||Randwick Petersham|
|Connor O’Riordan||St George|
|Joe Hiley||Northern District|
|Campbell Pert||Eastern Suburbs|
|Riley Smith||Penrith||(Cricket Australia)|
|Nivethan Radhakrishnan||Bankstown||(Cricket Australia)|