Cricket Australia (CA) has announced a 14-player Australia Under 16s squad to compete in a six-match Under 16 International Series against Pakistan during April in Melbourne.
The squad, which features five players from New South Wales, three from South Australia, three from Victoria, two from Queensland and one from Western Australia, will play five 50-over matches and one Twenty 20 match between April 17 and April 27 at the state-of-the-art Junction Oval complex.
Players were selected following the 2016 School Sport Australia 15 & Under Boys National Championship, with the majority of the squad forming the Cricket Australia XI that competed at the Cricket Australia Under 17 National Championships in October.
The squad is headlined by South Australia batsman Kyle Brazell, who was named the Player of the Championships at the recent Under 17 tournament, scoring a tournament-high 417 runs and averaging 59.5 from his seven innings.
Fellow batsman Jake Fraser-McGurk was the third-highest run-scorer at that event with 321 runs at 45.8, spinner Mac Jenkins claimed 12 wickets from seven matches, and all-rounder Brock Larance featured in New South Wales’ open-age title win at the National Indigenous Cricket Championships in early 2018.
The chance for the team to play against international opposition will be a fantastic learning experience, according to CA Pathways Manager Graham Manou.
“This series provides the boys with a really good opportunity to test their skills against an international opponent, and particularly a subcontinent team, albeit in our own conditions,” Manou said.
“In hosting these sorts of series and playing in these series, it’s really about accelerating that development process. Not many sports offer international exposure at this age level.”
The squad will have plenty of experience on the coaching front.
Former Tasmanian Tigers captain and coach Dan Marsh will be the head coach, with former New South Wales fast bowler and now Cricket NSW Country Coaching and Talent Manager Mark Cameron as his assistant.
Australia and Pakistan have competed in a number of international series at Under 16 level in recent years.
The most recent series was played in Dubai in early 2017, with Pakistan claiming a 5-1 series win across three 50-over and three T20 matches at the ICC Academy.
That Australian squad was led by rising star Mackenzie Harvey, who now 17 years of age, has since gone on to score a half-century for the Cricket Australia XI against England in a one-day match, and be signed as an injury replacement player by the Melbourne Renegades for BBL|07.
Australia Under 16s Squad:
Kyle Brazell (SA), Jake Fraser-McGurk (VIC), Campbell Griffiths (VIC), Michael Herbst (WA), Mac Jenkins (NSW), Brock Larance (NSW), Jet Liebke (QLD), Mitchell Pascoe (QLD), Yash Pednekar (VIC), Samuel Rahaley (SA), Suraj Rajesh (SA), Tanveer Sangha (NSW), Hugh Sheriff (NSW), Brad Simpson (NSW)
Coach: Dan Marsh
Assistant Coach: Mark Cameron
Australia Under 16s Series v Pakistan - Fixtures
April 17 - 1st Youth ODI
April 19 - 2nd Youth ODI
April 21 - 3rd Youth ODI
April 24 - 4th Youth ODI
April 26 - 5th Youth ODI
April 27 - 1st Youth T20