Australia’s next generation of stars will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they take to the SCG for a T20 curtain-raiser ahead of the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers KFC BBL|06 clash on December 27.
The two teams will be named the Gilchrist XII and Ponting XII, after Australian cricketing legends and now BBL commentators Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting.
In a first for the Cricket Australia Pathways Program, the two teams will showcase the country’s best junior talent, comprising a mix of standout performers from this year’s Under 17 National Championships and Under 19 National Championships.
The Ponting XII - featuring the country’s best under-17s players - includes NSW Blues and Sydney Thunder rookie Jason Sangha, plus Western Warriors rookie and Under 19 National Championships Player of the Final Cameron Green.
Victoria’s Will Sutherland, who captained the Cricket Australia XI at the under-19 championships, will lead the Ponting XII, which also includes the under-17 and under-19 championships’ leading wicket-taker, Lloyd Pope, and player of the under-17 championships final, Austin Waugh.
The Gilchrist XII - featuring the country’s best under-19s players - will be led by Victoria’s Will Pucovski, who broke the all-time runs record at the under-19 championships earlier this month, when he scored four consecutive centuries on his way to a total of 650 runs in eight matches.
Alongside Pucovski in the Gilchrist XII will be Queensland Bulls rookies Max Bryant and Xavier Bartlett - the latter played in this year’s Matador BBQs Cup with the Cricket Australia XI - and Tasmanian Tigers rookie Mac Wright.
Xavier Bartlett, QueenslandMax Bryant, QueenslandRyan Hadley, New South WalesAaron Hardie, Western AustraliaBradley Hope, Western AustraliaMatthew Gilkes, ACTDylan Mullen, Northern TerritoryBen Pengelley, South AustraliaWill Pucovski, VictoriaJason Ralston, New South WalesParam Uppal, New South WalesMac Wright, Tasmania
Ponting XII (Under 17s)
Jack Edwards, New South WalesZak Evans, VictoriaJarrod Freeman, TasmaniaCameron Green, Western AustraliaAngus Lovell, QueenslandMitchell Perry, VictoriaLloyd Pope, South AustraliaPatrick Rowe, VictoriaJason Sangha, New South WalesWill Sutherland, VictoriaAustin Waugh, New South WalesHarrison Wood, Queensland
CA Pathways Manager Graham Manou said:
“There is a need to continue to provide the best possible experiences to players coming through the Pathway Program,” Manou said.
“With so many multi-talented athletes in our program, it is essential we continue to provide unique experiences to ensure we are constantly developing players’ skill-sets and keeping them engaged within the sport.
“We believe this experience will help to stretch these players and showcase their skills on a big stage. Hopefully, this is another step in the Pathway which will help develop players for Futures League cricket, and in years to come, the Big Bash League, Matador BBQs Cup, Sheffield Shield and perhaps even national selection.
“Having the opportunity to play on the SCG ahead of a BBL match will be an incredible experience for these young cricketers, and we hope this match is the first of many.”
CA National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said:
“This is a great opportunity to showcase the best young talent in the country,” Chappell said.
“I think those that take the opportunity to witness this game will be comforted by the fact that Australian cricket is in good health and the future looks bright.”
To add to the experience for players selected, Perth Scorchers coach Justin Langer and Sydney Sixers coach Greg Shipperd will be on hand to offer advice during the game.
Matthew Elliott and John Davison will coach the Gilchrist XII and Ponting XII respectively, with Beau Casson to assist both sides.
The match is scheduled to begin at 2pm local time, and will be live-streamed and scored via www.cricket.com.au and the Cricket Australia Live App.