South Australia’s 2013/14 State Indigenous Player of the Year Luke Lavender has been included in the preliminary 2014/15 National Indigenous Development Squad, which will tour Darwin for a Top End Cricket Carnival this September.
Three of Lavender’s South Australian teammates, Tyrell Sinclair, Charlie Holmes and 2012/13 State Indigenous Player of the Year Ayden McGregor-Baptista, have also been included in the squad.
During the 2014 Imparja Cup, Luke Lavender played a vital role with the ball finishing with eight wickets and seventh overall on the leading wicket-takers list. Lavender was rewarded for his efforts with selection in the Black Caps Team of the Championship.
Previously a member of the Emerging Redbacks squad, Lavender will again represent the Western Grit in the West End Premier League.
Identified by Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager Greg Chappell and National Indigenous Development Squad Head Coach Anthony Judd, the team will play a combination of 50-over and Twenty20 matches against sides representing ICC East Asia Pacific, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory from 13-19 September in Darwin.
The matches will take place at Northline Oval in Palmerston, Marrara Cricket Ground and the Gardens Oval.
Chappell said the players were selected based on their performances at the national all-Indigenous tournament, the Imparja Cup, as well as club cricket and state competitions last summer.
“There is some significant talent within this squad and our aim is to really foster that and help take it to the next level. These players have been selected based on their potential to develop into elite cricketers. We hope the experience of playing in this tournament will help expose each player to the professionalism associated with high-level competition and what it takes to succeed at the top,” Chappell said.
“Opportunities like the Top End Cricket Carnival build on the foundations set by our participation programs which aim to create a pathway for Indigenous Australians to play the game with an ultimate aim of one day earning a Baggy Green cap.”
The preliminary squad announcement coincides with Australian cricket’s annual participation campaign, PlayCricket, an online information resource which is designed to encourage all Australians to get involved, no matter who they are, where they come from or whether they’ve ever picked up a bat or ball.
At www.playcricket.com.au, people can find out all they need to know about how to get involved with cricket. From junior participation, to veterans leagues, to new short format options, the website will put people in touch with clubs and indoor cricket centres that offer the type of cricket they’re looking for – relevant to their location.
Preliminary 2014/15 National Indigenous Development Squad
Head Coach: Anthony Judd
Assistant Coach: Jeff Cook
Ben Abbatangelo (c) – VIC
Ayden McGregor-Baptista – SA (East Torrens)
Tyrell Sinclair – SA (Tea Tree Gully)
Brandon King – NT
Damon Egan – VIC
Jonte Pattison – NSW
Zac Chapman – TAS
Luke Lavender – SA (Adelaide)
Bradley Smith – TAS
Charlie Holmes – SA (Kensington)
Lain Beckett – NSW
Josh Eaton – VIC
Bevan Bennell – WA
Ryan Lees – TAS
Alistair Bivens – WA
Michael Bailey – WA
Adam McDermott – QLD
Mark Thompson – QLD
Ben Mitchell – NSW
Preston White – QLD
D’arcy Short – WA
Cameron Trask – QLD
Nathan Price – NSW
Josh Lalor – NSW