from Cricket NSW
Cricket NSW introduces
T20-focused Transition Squad
Cricket NSW will incorporate a T20-focused Transition Squad into its male High Performance Pathway from 2018-19 with a 16-man squad to start training at the SCG on Monday.
The Transition Academy will help players from the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition, under age pathway programs and Blues rookie list transition to professional cricket, particularly the BBL.
The Academy is needed because Cricket NSW has up to 36 full contract slots available for its two BBL clubs but only 20 full contract slots available for the NSW Blues. Yet players not on the Blues list must still have the best opportunity to perform at BBL level.
This requires additional, specialist training in a professional environment.
The Transition Academy will complement, not replace, the Sixers and Thunder Academies and NSW Premier Cricket club programs.
The squad will be coached by former NSW Blues off-spinner Anthony Clark and will feature a mix of NSW Blues, Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder contracted players and other players of interest.
The group includes current Big Bash League players Chris Green, Jay Lenton and Daniel Sams plus numerous other prospects.
Four players from the 2018 Australian Under 19 World Cup squad are named, including NSW Blues rookies Jack Edwards, paceman Ryan Hadley, wicketkeeper-batter Baxter Holt and Sutherland allrounder Austin Waugh.
Bill O’Reilly Medal winner Jonathan Cook, judged the best player in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket in 2017-18, has also been selected in the squad along with leading run-scorer Daniel Solway. Cook is a leg-spinning all-rounder from Western Suburbs.
Clark said the players will be provided with as much support as possible through the coaching and Sports Science and Sports Medicine staff at Cricket NSW.
“The purpose is to help them make the improvements so they feel confident enough to be able to succeed at a higher level,” Clark said.
Cricket NSW General Manager of Cricket Performance, David Moore emphasised that the Transition program was required to ensure NSW’s BBL clubs, the Sixers and Thunder, are consistently competitive.
“Cricket NSW’s program must allow us to compete with the one-team BBL towns through the development of T20-ready players, while continuing to produce First Class and Australian cricketers,” said Moore.
“This change to the high performance program is essential to continue the proud record of NSW in domestic cricket, including two BBL and all three WBBL titles as well as 19 out of 22 WNCL tournaments and 46 Sheffield Shields.”
Given the focus of the Transition program on improving skills for the T20 format, Moore said the high performance team worked closely with each BBL club in selecting the squad.
“We are working hand-in-hand with the Sixers and Thunder to give their contracted players and other prospects the opportunity to prepare for their BBL|08 campaigns well in advance of the BBL window,” he said.
“Again, the Transition Academy will complement NSW Premier Cricket and the BBL club Academies and give the best cricketers in NSW the best chance to achieve their potential in the game.”
Clark said the squad also demonstrates the depth within NSW cricket at present.
“It shows that there is a lot of good young players coming through now that have some really exciting skill sets,” he said.
“Our ability to transfer that raw talent into more is going to be important going forward.”
2018/19 Cricket NSW Transition Squad
Justin Avendano (North Sydney)
Jonathan Cook (Western Suburbs)
Jack Edwards (Manly-Warringah/NSW Blues Rookie)
Jordan Gauci (Blacktown/NSW Blues Rookie)
Matthew Gilkes (UNSW)
Chris Green (Sydney Thunder/Manly-Warringah)
Ryan Hackney (Penrith/NSW Blues Rookie)
Ryan Hadley (Manly-Warringah/NSW Blues Rookie)
Baxter Holt (Eastern Suburbs/NSW Blues Rookie)
Jay Lenton (Sydney Thunder/Manly-Warringah)
Nathan McAndrew (Bankstown)
Tom Pinson (Sutherland)
Chad Sammut (Fairfield-Liverpool/NSW Blues Rookie)
Daniel Sams (Sydney Thunder/Randwick Petersham)
Daniel Solway (Bankstown)
Austin Waugh (Sutherland)