Ashton Agar will add English experience to his current Indian internship with the Australian Test team after being chosen as one of six AIS scholars to spend the northern summer at Hampshire's academy.
Swiftly gaining a reputation as one of the most promising spin bowlers in Australia, Agar was sent to India as a developmental member of the squad for the early days of the tour, and claimed a wicket in the recently completed warm-up match in Chennai.
He is now set to spend more time bowling to Australia's batsmen in the nets in England during their Champions Trophy and Ashes assignments, while also spending time at Hampshire's Southampton training facility and playing league cricket.
Joining Agar will be the Victorian allrounder Alex Keath, another West Australian spin bowler in Ashton Turner, plus the batsmen Scott Henry (NSW), Travis Head (South Australia) and William Bosisto (WA). The national talent manager Greg Chappell said the Hampshire experience would add greatly to the young players' poise.
"This year's squad of scholars includes players that were part of the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup squad as well as some new young talent and experienced first-class cricketers," Chappell said. "It is exciting that six of these young players, largely from our 2012 Under 19 program, will have the opportunity to go over and spend six months in England linking up with the Hampshire Cricket Club.
"The players heading to England are talented young cricketers who will benefit greatly from the exposure to the different conditions they will see over there. They will also link up and train with the Australia A side, as well as the ODI team during the ICC Champions Trophy and the Test squad ahead of the Ashes."
Mitchell Marsh, meanwhile, is among the 12 chosen to hone their games in Brisbane. Marsh was kicked out of the Centre of Excellence last year for disciplinary reasons. Joining him will be Pat Cummins, Gurinder Sandhu and Adam Zampa, among others.
"The AIS scholars based in Brisbane will be fortunate enough to spend a considerable amount of time during the winter working with the Centre of Excellence staff in specialised training programs," Chappell said. "The pace bowlers will also get to spend some time with one of Australia's greatest pace bowlers, Glenn McGrath, at the MRF Pace Foundation in India, while the spinners and batsmen will head to Sri Lanka to experience the different conditions the sub-continent brings.
"This is a very exciting program for these young cricketers and is part of CA's plan to develop and expose the next generation to conditions and challenges they will face when they play on the international stage."
Hampshire Scholars: Alex Keath (Victoria), Ashton Agar (Western Australia), Ashton Turner (WA), Scott Henry (New South Wales), Travis Head (South Australia), William Bosisto (WA)
Brisbane Scholars: Adam Zampa (NSW), Billy Stanlake (Queensland), Gurinder Sandhu (NSW), James Muirhead (Victoria), Joel Logan (Northern Territory), Joel Paris (WA), Kurtis Patterson (NSW), Mark Steketee (Qld), Mitchell Marsh (WA), Pat Cummins (NSW), Peter Handscomb (Vic), Sam Whiteman (WA)