Canberra Times – This year’s batch of male talent chosen in the national performance squad was cut from 18 last year to 10, in part because of finances, but also to allow coaches to spend more time with those with a greater chance of playing international cricket within the next five years.
- The 10-man squad features three with state contracts – South Australia’s Jake Weatherald, emerging leg-spinner Lloyd Pope, who burst on to the scene at the World Cup this year when he claimed 8-35 against England, and Western Australia’s Cameron Green, the latter enjoying a five-wicket haul in his maiden Sheffield Shield match as a 17-year-old in February, 2017.
- Pope is one of six from the Australian under-19 squad in the NPS program, joining Victorian fast-bowling all-rounder Jonathan Merlo, New South Wales’ Jack Edwards, Ryan Hadley and Baxter Holt and Queensland’s Nathan McSweeney.
- The Blues upgraded rookies Jason Sangha, the Australian under-19 captain, spinners Param Uppal and Dan Fallins and fast bowlers Mickey Edwards and Liam Hatcher to senior contracts.
- Their rookie list features several under-19 Australian representatives who lost the final of the World Cup to India earlier this year, including wicketkeeper Baxter Holt, batting all-rounder Jack Edwards, the younger brother of Mickey, and fast bowler Ryan Hadley.
- 2018 Male National Performance SquadJack Edwards, NSW, 18 (fast-bowling all-rounder)Cameron Green, WA, 18 (fast-bowling all-rounder)Ryan Hadley, NSW, 19 (fast bowler)Baxter Holt, NSW, 18 (wicketkeeper-batsman)Nathan McSweeney, QLD, 19 (batsman)Jonathan Merlo, VIC, 19 (fast-bowling all-rounder)Joshua Philippe, WA, 20 (wicketkeeper-batsman)Lloyd Pope, SA, 18 (leg spinner)Chad Sammut, NSW, 19 (fast bowler)Jake Weatherald, SA, 23 (batsman)Spin program: Michael Cormack (SA), Thomas Engelbrecht (ACT), Daniel Fallins (NSW), Matt Kuhnemann (QLD), Arjun Nair (NSW), Thomas O’Connell (SA), Jason Sangha (NSW), Param Uppal (NSW).