Queensland Cricket's next generation is set to benefit from increased exposure to the game at the highest level in the 2002-2003 season.

The Queensland Academy of Sport cricket program squads announced today feature eight players who tasted action in two practice matches against the world champion Australian team and the touring Pakistan one-day international side last weekend.

Batsmen Craig Philipson, Chris Simpson and Duncan Betts, leg-spinning allrounder Steve Paulsen and pace bowlers Matthew Petrie, Ben Edmondson, Steve Magoffin and Nathan Rimmington played for the Queensland XI against Australia and Pakistan at Allan Border Field.

Rimmington, whose younger sister Ricki-Lee was also named today in the QAS squad, returned the figures of 3-16 against Pakistan that were the best for Queensland over the weekend.

Philipson, Simpson and Magoffin were recently awarded XXXX Queensland Bulls Rookie contracts for the coming season.

The 2002-2003 QAS intake is the largest since the introduction of cricket into the Academy structure in 1992, with 25 men and 11 women granted scholarships.

In addition to the metropolitan-based squad of 13 men and six women, the QAS Regional squad will cater for 12 men and five women outside Brisbane.

On the playing field, Queensland will compete under the QAS banner in the ACB Cup 2nd XI competition, the annual Colts clash against NSW and the State Institutes' Challenge in Darwin from August 24-31.

QAS head coach Richard Done said a number of last year's scholarship holders had benefited from playing in matches against the touring New Zealand Test and One Day team and from touring New Zealand.

"Some of those players went on to make their first class debuts for the Bulls and perform strongly when given the chance," he said.

"We've already had some of this year's squad exposed to cricket at a higher level than they would have been used to and history shows that sort of experience is very valuable," he said.

"The men in the metropolitan squad will train alongside the Bulls again this season while the women will be involved with the Konica Queensland Fire team in the Women's National League so they will all be given plenty of opportunities to improve their performances," Done said.

METRO - Male: Bulls Rookies: Chris Simpson (Wynnum-Manly), Craig Philipson (University), Steve Magoffin (Wests). Other: Matthew Petrie (Redlands), Ben Edmondson (Beenleigh/Logan), Nathan Rimmington (Sandgate-Redcliffe), Allan Rowe (Toombul), Scott O'Leary (Wynnum-Manly), Luke Davis (Beenleigh/Logan), Aaron Maynard (Sunshine Coast), Duncan Betts (Norths), Nick Kruger (Valley), Steven Paulsen (Wests).

METRO - Female: Ricki-Lee Rimmington (Sandgate-Redcliffe), Kirsten Pike (Sandgate-Redcliffe), Reanna Browne (Valley), Kasee Marxsen (Sandgate-Redcliffe), Jodie Purves (Wests), Kerryn Matthews (Sandgate-Redcliffe).

The QAS Regional squad enters its second year under the direction of Townsville-based Queensland Cricket Regional Manager Steve Baker.

Included in the squad are Toowoomba trio Nathan Stains, Peter Reimers and Cameron Glass who were members of the Queensland Country team that won the National championships last season, Australian Under-17 selection Mathew Turich from Gladstone and Laura Bates (Townsville), Jessica Rowlands (Townsville), Catherine McRae (Dalby) and Britt Easton (St George) who were members of the Konica Queensland Under-17 team that won Queensland's first ever women's national title at last season's Australian championships in Perth.

The Regional squad will gather in Townsville from July 2-5 for a training camp which Done said would allow greater opportunities for athletes outside of Brisbane to improve and develop their skills.

"This aspect of the QAS program complements Queensland Cricket's existing talent identification and development schemes in regional areas," he said.

"Importantly, it provides regionally-based athletes with the advantage of being able to benefit from advanced coaching and training methods without needing to relocate to Brisbane," he said.

REGIONAL - Male: Nathan Stains (Toowoomba), Peter Reimers (Toowoomba), Mathew Turich (Gladstone), Cameron Glass (Toowoomba), Clint McMillan (Mackay), Rhys Williams (Clermont), Ryan Schulte (Bundaberg), Damien Watts (Charleville), Reece Neyland (Mackay), Brett Wightman (Townsville), Dean Hanrahan (Cairns), Mathew Burton (Townsville/Charters Towers).

REGIONAL - Female: Laura Bates (Townsville), Catherine McRae (Dalby), Britt Easton (St George), Jessica Rowlands (Townsville), Leteysha Randall (Biggenden).