U19 National Championships to decide Australia’s U19 Women’s World Cup Squad

Australia’s glittery success in International Cricket Council (ICC) held events is unmatched and keeping in mind the upcoming, inaugural edition of the ICC Women’s Under-19 Twenty20 (T20) World Cup, Cricket Australia (CA) has announced the launch of the ‘National Championship’.

 

Ella Hayward. PC: Getty Images
Ella Hayward. PC: Getty Images

 

The Championships will be the second such event in 2022 after Cricket Australia’s (CA’s) visionary leadership saw them restructure the underage pathways for its female cricketers during the pandemic which saw them opt for Under 16s and Under 19s moving on from Under 15s and 18s.

The forthcoming, U19 ‘National Championship’ will be staged across the next 7 days in Perth and the Championship will feature a few familiar faces from the Women’s Big Bash (WBBL), namely; Ella Hayward, Rhys McKenna, Amy Smith, Lucy Hamilton, Jade Allen and Paris Bowdler.

Shawn Flegler, CA’s head of women’s performance and national selector, said, “The idea of getting an Under 19s World Cup together was to drive other countries to start investing in pathway programs, and not just throwing money at the top. We’ve been pushing really hard for an Under 19s World Cup for a number of years, because to have successful teams over a long period of time, you need to invest in the bottom as well.

“There’s quite a few examples of (notable underage performers) in the time I’ve been involved. I’ve seen (Sophie) Molineux, (Tayla) Vlaeminck, (Annabel) Sutherland, (Phoebe) Litchfield, (Georgia) Wareham, they’ve all come through the 15s originally.

“We’ve seen those players come through 15s and then to 18s, (because) there’s a bit of a difference from the (male) Premier level, where there’s more players, more depth, so the really talented (female) youngsters get exposed more quickly to elite level cricket.”

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In September, CA had roped in 25 of the country’s best U-19 talents for a 3-match ‘(Meg) Lanning v (Ellyse) Perry T20 series’. The series provided a platform for the rising stars to present themselves as the best contenders for the squad that’ll tour South Africa for the mega ICC event that’s in the waiting. A few of those who had featured in the series were also state-contracted.

Flegler added, “We asked for nominations from the state and territories for those squads. They were put forward to us and then the squads were finalised, so it was pretty open communication with the state and territories around those teams. I’d expect a number of those players (from the Lanning v Perry series) will go through to the World Cup.

“There were some who didn’t play for either injury or workload reasons (who will be in contention), and then there’ll be some who come out of the woodwork, for sure, because with this age group, there can be a huge difference in development in 6-12 months.”

With the World Cup due to get underway early next year in January from the 14th to the 29th, Australia is expected to announce their squad mid this month, post the conclusion of the National Championship.

(Quotes credits: Adam Burnett from cricket.com.au)

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