The Cricket Australia XI squad for this year's domestic one-day tournament, the JLT Cup, has been named, with Queensland fast bowler Mark Steketee and Tasmania allrounder Beau Webster the most experienced members of the squad. Victoria allrounder Jonathan Merlo is the only player in the squad without a state contract.
"There is some real talent within this group, and we believe the players in this squad will benefit enormously from the opportunity to compete against the best players in Australia," Greg Chappell, Cricket Australia's national talent manager, said.
"This is now the third year of the Cricket Australia XI competing in our domestic one-day competition. It's great to see seven players who represented the CA XI last year feature in state squads this year - Western Australia's Will Bosisto and Josh Inglis, Victoria's Sam Harper and Matt Short, New South Wales' Ryan Gibson and Arjun Nair, and Queensland's Brendan Doggett.
"We will look to use multiple captains, and give some of our emerging leaders experience in that area as well. It's great to have three Under 19s players in this squad in Jonathan Merlo, Max Bryant and Param Uppal, they're all exciting young cricketers. They are all primarily batsmen, but also provide us with additional bowling options.
"Henry Thornton is coming back from some injury issues, and he's a very exciting prospect. He has been clocked bowling at similar speeds to Brett Lee at the same age. Daniel Fallins is an exciting leg-spinner, he's up there on the rev counter with the elite wrist spinners - he gives it a real tweak, not unlike Stuart MacGill."
The Cricket Australia opens the tournament against South Australia in Brisbane on Wednesday next week. In two previous years of competing in the state one-day competition, the CA XI - made up of emerging cricketers who failed to win selection in their respective state squads for the tournament - have won only one of their 12 games, a three-run victory over Tasmania in 2015.
Cricket Australia XI Max Bryant (Qld), Jake Carder (WA), Jackson Coleman (Vic), Daniel Fallins (NSW), David Grant (SA), Clint Hinchliffe (WA), Jonathan Merlo (Vic), Harry Nielsen (SA), Ben Pengelley (SA), Mark Steketee (Qld), Henry Thornton (NSW), Param Uppal (NSW), Beau Webster (Tas), Mac Wright (Tas).