Cricket Australia has named an 18-man National Performance Squad for the upcoming quadrangular one-day series in Queensland, featuring teenage carrom-ball spinner Arjun Nair.
New South Wales allrounder Sean Abbott is the most experienced member of the group, which will take on Australia A, India A and South Africa A in a tournament in Townsville and Mackay during August.
Nair, 18, is an emerging spinner who played two matches for New South Wales last summer but is particularly notable in Australia for his varieties. Although yet to make his List A debut, he will have the chance to show off his short-form talent in the four-team series.
In May, a 24-man Australia A squad was named for a winter campaign set to include four first-class games against South Africa A and India A as well as the one-day series, although specific groups for the one-day and four-day matches were to be confirmed closer to the games. Three men named in that squad - Matthew Renshaw, Sam Heazlett and Mitch Swepson - will play for Australia A in the first-class games and for the NPS in the one-day series.
"All of these players have some degree of state experience as part of the Australian Cricket Pathway and this is just another step up in their development," Greg Chappell, CA's national talent manager, said of the NPS group. "Selection in this squad pays tribute to the hard work that these players have put in and acknowledges that performances are noted and rewarded in the current Pathway system."
The squad will be coached by Graeme Hick and Ryan Harris. Hick said the quadrangular series would provide valuable experience for the players, many of whom have had just a taste of state cricket.
"Although the team's success won't be measured by win-loss ratio, we still expect this side to be competitive and with the talent in the team, a victory along the way isn't out of the question," Hick said. "Alongside the Australia A squad, these players are the future of Australian cricket and we are excited to see the progress they make in this important tournament."
National Performance Squad Sean Abbott, Hilton Cartwright, Kyle Gardiner, David Grant, Sam Grimwade, Sam Harper, Sam Heazlett, Clint Hinchliffe, Josh Inglis, Caleb Jewell, David Moody, Arjun Nair, Tom O'Donnell, Matthew Renshaw, Matthew Short, Mitchell Swepson.