By Nick Creely
There is no shortage of cricketing talent within the south east.
Cricket Victoria has named its 2021/22 Under 19 representative male and female squads, with a total of 109 players selected as part of the Emerging Players Program.
The players will get the chance to impress coaches and selectors from next month at the CitiPower Centre and the MCG with a number of training sessions, with players then in the running for the Under 19 National Championships to be held later this year, in Adelaide for the male and Perth for female.
The 2021/22 Under 19 Male Victorian squad of 61 will be put through their paces by an incredible coaching group, which included Sheffield Shield winning coach Greg Shipperd, six-time Shield winner and ex-Australian international Cameron White, as well as ex-Sri Lankan champion Thilan Samaraweera.
“We’re delighted to offer this development opportunity to what is a very talented group of young players,” Cricket Victoria’s manager of the Male Emerging Players program Tom Evans said.
“After missing out on the National Championships last season, the return of the tournament will provide added incentive for the players and we look forward to selecting strong Vic Metro and Vic Country squads to represent our state in Adelaide.”
The 2021/22 Under 19 Female Victorian squad will begin next month with specialist sessions, before the wider program begins in August. Sessions will also be held in regional areas to reduce the travel burden for players based in country areas.
Emerging Richmond offie Reiley Mark has also been named in Cricket Victoria’s Male Emerging Performance Squad, designed for players not otherwise on state contracts but pushing hard to play state cricket.
The youngster, hailing from Berwick in the DDCA, continues to develop strongly at Central Reserve, snaring eight wickets last season at 29.38 in the Premier Cricket season, while also juggling that with commitments with Haileybury, where he starred with 23 wickets from just eight matches at an average of 12.35
He will form part of the 16-man squad that will train at the CitiPower Centre under the tutelage of Cricket Victoria coaches, with ex-Australian and Victorian quick Clint McKay to coach the squad.
Dandenong champ Emma Gallagher has also been given the honour of joining the Female Emerging Performance Squad.
The premiership winning champ will form part of the 15-player squad that will train at the MCG from mid-July, in what is a crucial pathway from Premier Cricket to state opportunities.
The highly popular Panther enjoyed a stellar season in 2020/21 as her group won the Women’s Premier premiership, snaring 23 wickets including a stunning 6/12.
Our local stars
Dandenong – Angus Newman and Raheel Bostan
Casey-South Melbourne – Evan Allaway, Harrish Kannan and Isaiah Jassal
Richmond – Reiley Mark (Berwick) and Shobit Singh
Melbourne – Nick Pastras (Berwick)
Kingston Hawthorn – Sen Sathyajith (Cranbourne)
Dandenong – Kethmi Ekanayake, Poppy Gardner and Uvindee Wijesena