Australia news April 19, 2017

Carey, Labuschagne, McDermott among NPS intake

Ben McDermott century's century for the Hobart Hurricanes against the Melbourne Renegades was one of the innings of the the 2016-17 Big Bash League © Getty Images

The emergence of Alex Carey, Marnus Labuschagne and Ben McDermott as players of national interest has been confirmed by their inclusion in Cricket Australia's national performance squad for 2017.

Carey enjoyed a strong season as wicketkeeper for a South Australian side that made the Sheffield Shield final for a second consecutive season, while Labuschagne enjoyed a strong season for Queensland and McDermott produced one of the innings of the Big Bash League for the Hobart Hurricanes against the Melbourne Renegades.

At a time when the national selectors are looking ardently towards youth, the trio will be aware of their standing when reminded of the fact that three members of last year's squad - Matt Renshaw, Hilton Cartwright and Sam Heazlett - all went on to play for Australia during the 2016-17 season.

"It's been really pleasing see three players from the 2016 National Performance Squad go on to play international cricket in the past 12 months," the national talent manager and selector Greg Chappell said. "In Matthew Renshaw and Hilton Cartwright at Test level, and Sam Heazlett at ODI level, the NPS program is having a real impact in developing Australia's emerging talent into cricketers capable of playing at the game's highest level.

"There is a wealth of talent in this squad, and a nice balance between players with domestic experience pushing to play for Australia in the near future, and players who we believe can make the step up from underage championships, to domestic level and hopefully international cricket over the next couple of years."

Pace bowlers will be the first to arrive at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane on May 8, before the full intake begins on May 29. The players will be sent to the Snowy Mountains for a boot camp before other keynote events including a five-day spin camp in June, a visit to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai in July and a fielding and wicketkeeping camp in August.

"Our spin camp has been running now for a number of years, and each year I see it getting better. We have international conditions, international spinners and international coaches coming through as part of that particular program as well," the NPS head coach Troy Cooley said. "With the facilities we have, we can replicate Indian conditions and Australian conditions, and it really is a good opportunity for both batsmen and bowlers to develop their game outdoors in the sun."

"We've done some excellent work with the State Talent Managers and the National Selection Panel to select this squad, and we have another talented group of young players. Our role in this important pathway program is to value-add to the hard work the States are doing with these players.

"Our facilities are world renowned, and provide plenty of opportunities for cricketers to learn and develop their craft in a multitude of different conditions to not only improve on their current skills, but replicate the touring life of an international cricketer.

"There are several specialist camps as part of this year's program, including a boot camp in the Snowy Mountains to test our players' adaptability and resilience away from the game, and a trip to the MRF Academy which adds a real international flavour to the program, and further sub-continent experience."

National Performance Squad 2017: Alex Carey, Jackson Coleman, Michael Cormack, Brendan Doggett, Jake Doran, Daniel Fallins, Jordan Gauci, Ryan Gibson, Ryan Hadley, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Lewin Maladay, Ben McDermott, Tom O'Donnell, Ben Pengelley, Henry Thornton, Param Uppal, Mac Wright

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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  • Simon on April 21, 2017, 15:38 GMT

    @Dunger.Bob - no worries mate! You're right - I really do love it there. I can remember a great Shield battle between Queensland and Victoria at the height of their rivalry, when Matthew Mott defected and went to play for the Vics... the fact that you can hear a lot of what the players say on the field even when the ground is full sure made things interesting that day. And a game that tested my "QueeNZlander" allegiances that contained some of the finest hitting I've seen to this day - QLD A vs NZ in 2001/02. The shots I saw Astle, Cairns, Fleming, Parore and McMillan play that day were pure quality, and ahead of their time. I reckon your idea of tours through the back end of the facility would be great - I know I'd love to see it. I've read that they bring in soil from other areas to produce the different types of pitches - I'll try to find out more next time I'm over there. Some of my fondest cricket-watching memories are at AB Field - I'm sure you'd love it there too Bob. Cheers :-)

  • rob on April 21, 2017, 5:54 GMT

    @ SimmoTheAviator: Thanks for the heads up mate. It sounds like you don't mind the place. I've seen the AB field on TV a few times and it always looks a picture. It's a nice little ground that's for sure. You know, if they wanted to earn a few extra bucks, I reckon guided tours would attract a few takers. There could be lots of cricket specific technology there that most of us don't even know exists. As a farmer I'm particularly interested in how they go about cooking up the different pitches but I'm sure there's something there for most cricket fans. Anyway, cheers Simmo.

  • Simon on April 20, 2017, 16:30 GMT

    Dunger.Bob - I live in Brisbane and I've been to a few Shield/Australia A games at Allan Border Field, which is where the NCC is based. I can tell you that it's a pretty cool facility - and that's just the stuff the public can see! There are plenty of practice pitches, the indoor area looks huge from the outside and the groups that I've seen training there are always full of enthusiasm. Also, with players from other countries often coming to train there, you never know who you're going to see... I've spotted some international players from Bangladesh, Pakistan and England there in the past, as well as some guys from Associate teams. Border Field is actually a lovely place to watch cricket - it's cosy, picturesque and you're right on top of the action. My mate copped a huge bruise on his arm from a Ricky Ponting pull-shot off an Andy Bichel bouncer back in 2000 - unfortunately for me a bloke I played against was on the hill at the time and gave me heaps for not catching it haha!

  •   cricfan69564930 on April 20, 2017, 6:07 GMT

    just wondering what fixtures CA has lined up for the NPS....i enjoyed the A team quad series last winter in mackay and townsville and would love to see that format repeated...

  • Michael on April 19, 2017, 23:59 GMT

    I wonder if Warner has ever utilized those facilities to replicate Indian conditions?

  • Scott Campbell on April 19, 2017, 10:27 GMT

    Can we get Warnie's opinion on the boot camp? :-) Or do we know it already?

  • rob on April 19, 2017, 9:45 GMT

    Even though the story is a full on sales pitch from the guys it's really gratifying to see the level of effort put in by CA to get us competitive across the whole range of conditions. I'm especially happy to see the spin camps but it's also good they haven't forgotten the fielding. .. I'd actually love to have a gander at the academy and it's facilities. It should be an eye opener for an old bushie like myself.

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