The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) announced today the 2002 intake for the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy (CBCA).
The players, who will take part in the residential program for two six-week blocks between April and August, are:
Five players selected in the squad have already made their first-class debuts, including Southern Redbacks batsmen Cameron Borgas and Ryan Harris, Tasmanian Tigers left-arm orthodox spinner Xavier Doherty, Queensland Bulls batsman Daniel Payne and Victorian Bushrangers leg-spinner Cameron White.
Doherty and White were also two of nine CBCA scholars who were part of the successful Australian under-19 squad that claimed victory over South Africa at the 2002 International Cricket Council Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in February.
George Bailey, Aaron Bird, Jarrad Burke, Beau Casson, Mark Cosgrove, Adam Fleming and Craig Simmons were the other members of that squad.
The academy squad of 24 was selected by the CBCA after consultation with each state and territory cricket association, the Chairman of the ACB Game Development Committee, Trevor Robertson, the Chairman of the National Selection Panel, Trevor Hohns, and the AIS.
Led by the coaching staff, which includes newly appointed Head Coach Bennett King, the CBCA's residential scholars will be based at the AIS training facility at Henley Beach in South Australia.
This year will also be the start of a new era at the CBCA. The program has undergone a re-structure that will incorporate a number of changes including:
a focus on developing players who are closer to breaking into first-class cricket;
holding the residential program in the cricket off-season between April and August each year;
increasing the number of scholarship holders from 14 to 24;
forging closer relationships between the academy, state associations and the state institute of sport programs; and
establishing a system for women's cricket.
ACB Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said the changes to the CBCA program would ensure that it remains a first-class finishing school for the nation's leading young players.
"Since 1988, this program has produced 121 first-class cricketers and 31 of those have gone on to represent Australia at either Test or one-day international level," Mr Sutherland said.
"Under the leadership of Bennett King and with the continued support of the Commonwealth Bank and the Australian Sports Commission, I am confident that we can continue this enviable record.
"Even at an early age, this year's academy intake have impressive cricketing credentials, but the challenge is to ensure each player has the best grounding possible to eventually play for Australia," he said.
AIS Director Michael Scott said he was excited with the new-look academy, believing it augers well for the continued development of cricket in Australia.
"The Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy, which was established in 1987 as a joint initiative between the AIS and the ACB, is clearly regarded as the world's best cricket development program," Mr Scott said.
"The AIS is extremely proud of this record and tradition of producing talented cricketers.
"We look forward to continued success under the guidance of Bennett King and his coaching staff as the academy moves into a new era."
Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager of Brand and Marketing Graham Ford said the business was proud to play a part in supporting the nation's leading young players.
"The Commonwealth Bank is pleased to continue its long association with the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy," Mr Ford said.
"The changes being introduced will ensure young Australian cricketers are given every opportunity to reach their full potential."
Apart from the residential scholarship program, the CBCA will also oversee the development of talented players from each state in the specific areas of batting, fast bowling, spin bowling and wicket-keeping.
The non-residential scholarship program will see players travel to Adelaide for training camps during the Australian cricket off-season before returning to their state squads.