Australia’s emerging cricketers have gathered in Canberra ahead of the Cricket Australia Under 18 Female National Championships from 27 November – 7 December. The Championships will see Australia’s best up and coming female cricketers vie for Twenty20 and 50-over glory for the first time, having previously competed across both formats in a combined competition. In another first, two teams will be selected following the Championship to compete in an Under 18 WBBL Exhibition Game on 28 January at the MCG following the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League clash between the Melbourne Stars and Hobart Hurricanes.
Cricket Australia’s Female High Performance Manager, Shawn Flegler believes it’s an exciting time for young women to be playing cricket with the continuous increase in opportunities. “The introduction of the Twenty20 competition and Under 18 WBBL Exhibition Game will ensure players at this level gain greater exposure to the format, with T20 cricket now seen as the primary format for women to be playing with a looming World T20 event in Australia in 2020,” said Flegler.
“The change was made following the launch of Australian Cricket’s new five-year strategy in September in which one of the key pillars is creating the best high-performance system for its cricketers. The Cricket Australia Underage Female National Championships are a fundamental part of the Australian Cricket Pathway and have been the largest contributor to the National teams since its inception.
“It’s pleasing to see so many players graduate from this age level and go on to play for their states and in the WBBL, the pathway that’s in place is obviously working and I’m looking forward to seeing the next crop of players show what they are capable of this year.” A total of 18 players from last year’s Under 15 and Under 18 Championships earned state contracts this year, with the VicSpirit handing five youngsters their first full senior contract. This year’s crop of youngsters promise to produce some exciting cricket, with players such as 16-year-old Lendlease (NSW) Breaker and ACT/NSW Country captain Rachel Trenman and 17-year-old Queensland Fire and Governor-General’s XI wicket-keeper/batter Josephine Dooley, set to feature heavily throughout the tournament.
Last year’s champions, NSW Metro will need to overcome the Cricket Australia XI who finished runners up last year and have former and current international stars Leah Poulton and Meg Lanning in charge of the side, as well as a combined ACT/NSW Country side, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, if there are to claim back-to back Betty Butcher Shields.
ACT/NSW Country: Katelyn Beaumont, McKenzie Carr, Ellie Dalgarno Fixter, Anita Handono, Emma Hughes, Claire Lennon, Matilda Lugg, Claire Murray, Lily Tassell, Abbey Taylor, Rachel Trenaman (C), Tahlia Wilson, Naomi Woods.
CA XI: Jade Allen, Jessica Bradley, Darcie Brown, Dharmini Chauhan, Lucy Cripps, Kirsten Davey, Jessica Davidson, Tess Flintoff, Lara Graham, Mardie Hamilton, Charli Knott, Olivia Power, Sarah Turner.
NSW Metro: Isabelle Afaras, Kate Barry, Stella Campbell, Maddy Darke, Hannah Darlington, Ashley Day, Angelina Genford, Saskia Horley (C), Jordann Johnson, Madeline Penna, Yardley Polsen, Prudence Rowbuck, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Emily Vallance.
Queensland: Lily Awyzio, Josephine Dooley (C), Renee Irvine, Ruth Johnston, Neve Lynch, Kate McDonald, Lilly Mills, Maggie Murphy, Stacy Rockliff, Asheligh Sims, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll,
South Australia: Stephanie Beazleigh, Rachel Church (C), Shae Daly, Emma De Broughe, Caitlin Edmunds, Sarah Ferris, Taylah Gregory, Georgia Iannella, Laura Niejalke, Sophie Roberts, Katie Rowe,
Bella Smith, Sharni Tansell.
Tasmania: Sarah Breckweg, Bonnie Davies, Amy Duggan, Esther Magor, Emma Manix-Geeves (C), Stacey Norton-Smith, Sophie Parkin, Emily Philpott, Meg Radford, Sam Roberts, Clare Scott, Courtney Webb, Hannah Wilson.
Victoria: Tiana Atkinson, Maddison Baird, Teagan Brett, Olivia Downes, Nicole Faltum (C), Zoe Griffiths, Bella Gietzmann, Alyssa Humphries, Erika Quinn, Annabel Sutherland, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Jordan Watson, Isabella Weber.
Western Australia: Zoe Britcliffe, Gemma Cassidy (C), Sheldyn Cooper, Georgie Ireland, Ashlee King, Emma Meuleman, Georgie Middleton, Mille Monaghan, Sarah Patman, Samantha Quadrio, Chloe Wain, Rebecca West, Georgia Wyllie.