PNG batsman Siaka named in Prime Minister's XI
Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins will join captain Michael Hussey in the Prime Minister's XI to take on England in Canberra on Wednesday next week. The side will also include Papua New Guinea batsman Lega Siaka, who scored a century in his country's debut ODI series against Hong Kong in November, and has been signed by the Melbourne Renegades.
Canberra-raised Jason Behrendorff will also have a chance to impress against an international side as he continues his strong season, as will his Western Australia team-mate Cameron Bancroft, who is third on the Sheffield Shield run tally this summer. Western Australia fast bowler Simon Mackin and Victoria batsman Peter Handscomb have also been named.
The side also features some younger players still on the fringes of the domestic scene, including Western Australia rookie fast bowler David Moody, the nephew of former Test allrounder Tom Moody. Eighteen-year-old Jake Doran, who first faced England at age 16 on their last tour when he played for a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, will keep wicket.
"This match is a special fixture on the Australian cricketing calendar and a magnificent tradition," Australia's chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said. "Mike Hussey will lead the team well and is a great drawcard, as is local boy Jason Behrendorff, who has been in fantastic form this summer across all three formats.
"Fans will also be looking forward to seeing Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell in action. Pat has been in excellent form bowling fast for the Sydney Thunder this summer, while Glenn can electrify the crowd with his daring and aggressive stroke play.
"Eighteen-year-old batsman Jake Doran is in the team, and he will also take the gloves. I think we all realise what a great talent Jake is, and his selection will provide another opportunity for him to continue his development.
"We are also excited about 22-year-old batsman Lega Siaka, contracted to the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League. Lega scored a century for Papua New Guinea in their first ever one-day international series in November when they defeated Hong Kong, and he is a confident young batsman who will excite the fans. His selection highlights PNG's growth as a cricketing nation."
Siaka has been playing for Essendon in Melbourne's grade cricket this season, and was also signed last month as a community rookie by the Melbourne Renegades. ACT opening batsman Matt Condon is also in the Prime Minister's XI, while local player Mac Wright will be 12th man.
Prime Minister's XI Michael Hussey (capt), Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Matt Condon, Pat Cummins, Jake Doran (wk), Peter Handscomb, Simon Mackin, Glenn Maxwell, David Moody, Lega Siaka, Mac Wright (12th man).