Eighteen of Australia’s best emerging cricketers have been selected to form Cricket Australia’s 2017 National Performance Squad.
The squad will spend more than three months at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, under the tutelage of National Performance Program Head Coach Troy Cooley and newly appointed High Performance Coaches Matthew Elliott and Ryan Harris.
This year – the 30th year of the program, which was formerly known as the Australian Cricket Academy and the Centre of Excellence – will feature several specialist camps and a tour to the MRF Academy in India.
The program is designed to add to the work done within state systems, and prepare players capable of competing at international level for Australia within the next five years.
2017 National Performance Squad
Alex Carey, SA
Jackson Coleman, VIC
Michael Cormack, SA
Brendan Doggett, QLD
Jake Doran, TAS
Daniel Fallins, NSW
Jordan Gauci, NSW
Ryan Gibson, NSW
Ryan Hadley, NSW
Josh Inglis, WA
Marnus Labuschagne, QLD
Lewin Maladay, NSW
Ben McDermott, TAS
Tom O’Donnell, VIC
Ben Pengelley, SA
Henry Thornton, NSW
Param Uppal, NSW
Mac Wright, TAS
South Australia gloveman Alex Carey, Queensland batsman Marnus Labuschagne and Tasmania batsman Ben McDermott are among a group of established domestic cricketers in the squad.
They feature alongside the likes of uncontracted New South Wales trio Ryan Hadley, Param Uppal and Lewin Maladay, who are currently representing the Australia Under 19s in a six-game series in Hobart.
Players of the calibre of Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Steve Smith and David Warner have come through the program. More recently, the likes of Matthew Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Hilton Cartwright have gone on to make their debuts for Australia, having been exposed to international playing and training environments through the program.
National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said:“It’s been really pleasing see three players from the 2016 National Performance Squad go on to play international cricket in the past 12 months,” Chappell said.
“In Matthew Renshaw and Hilton Cartwright at Test level, and Sam Heazlett at ODI level, the NPS program is having a real impact in developing Australia’s emerging talent into cricketers capable of playing at the game’s highest level.
“There is a wealth of talent in this squad, and a nice balance between players with domestic experience pushing to play for Australia in the near future, and players who we believe can make the step up from underage championships, to domestic level and hopefully international cricket over the next couple of years.”
The squad’s pace bowlers will arrive for a three-week program on 8 May, before the full program begins on 29 May. The program begins with a five-day boot camp in the Snowy Mountains, ahead of Spin Camp (12 June – 16 June), the MRF Tour in late July and a Fielding and Wicketkeeping Camp from 14 August – 20 August.
National Performance Program Head Coach Troy Cooley said:“Our spin camp has been running now for a number of years, and each year I see it getting better. We have international conditions, international spinners and international coaches coming through as part of that particular program as well,” Cooley said.
“With the facilities we have, we can replicate Indian conditions and Australian conditions, and it really is a good opportunity for both batsmen and bowlers to develop their game outdoors in the sun.”
“We’ve done some excellent work with the State Talent Managers and the National Selection Panel to select this squad, and we have another talented group of young players.”
“Our role in this important pathway program is to value-add to the hard work the States are doing with these players.
“Our facilities at the Bupa National Cricket Centre are world renowned, and provide plenty of opportunities for cricketers to learn and develop their craft in a multitude of different conditions to not only improve on their current skills, but replicate the touring life of an international cricketer.
“There are several specialist camps as part of this year’s program, including a boot camp in the Snowy Mountains to test our players’ adaptability and resilience away from the game, and a trip to the MRF Academy which adds a real international flavour to the program, and further sub-continent experience.”
The program will wrap up with a competition phase, with the National Performance Squad to play a match against the National Indigenous Squad on 28 August, Papua New Guinea on 1 September and a number of matches against State sides during September.