Melbourne: Cricket Australia's (CA) Youth Selection Panel (YSP) today announced a 14-member Australian Under-19 squad to compete in the U-19 Quad Series in India, beginning from September 23.
Australia will compete against India, South Africa and Zimbabwe in the Quad Series, in preparation for next February's ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in Dubai.
The Australian squad comprises some emerging talents, including Ben McDermott, son of former Australian fast-bowler Craig; 2013 U19 National Championship leading wicket-taker Cameron Valente; and 16-year-old batsman Jake Doran, who was the standout of the recently-played U19 International Series in Darwin with a spectacular average of 195.
CA National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said: "This Quad Series in India is part of our preparation for next year's ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. This series continues our comprehensive U-19 program to ensure our emerging talent is exposed to international competition and conditions that challenge and build our players technically and mentally.
"A number of these players have already had a taste of international cricket against top quality opposition. This year, our U-19s played New Zealand in New Zealand, as well as India in Darwin. Matthew Fotia also worked with Glenn McGrath at his MRF Pace Foundation academy in India.
"We are pleased with the balance of this 14-player squad to compete in the Quad Series in India. This squad contains a good balance of left and right-handed batsmen, with aggressive players and batsmen that can build partnerships and anchor our innings.
Talking about the bowlers in the squad, Chappell said: "We've selected a strong bowling contingent, with Cameron Valente's clever medium pace variations and quality pace bowlers in Matthew Fotia, Ben Ashkenazi, Guy Walker and Billy Stanlake.
"India's dry wickets will offer turn for our spinners Tom Andrews and Riley Ayre, while top-order batsman Kelvin Smith can also provide support with his part-time offspin.
"Following this Quad Series in India, we also have an upcoming tour to Sri Lanka where our players will train and play in sub-continental conditions," Chappell said.
The squad will be coached by CA's High Performance Coach Stuart Law. Law is tasked with the development of CA's underage players and will also coach the side in next year's ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Dubai.
Joel Logan (NT), Josh Dunning (WA) and Jeremy Maher (NSW) have been placed on stand-by for the series.
Australian U-19 squad: Sean Willis (TAS), Jaron Morgan (WA), Kelvin Smith (SA), Damien Mortimer (NSW), Ben McDermott (QLD), Jake Doran (NSW), Matthew Kelly (WA), Tom Andrews (NT/SA), Cameron Valente (SA), Matthew Fotia (VIC), Ben Ashkenazi (VIC), Guy Walker (VIC, Subject to fitness) Billy Stanlake (QLD, Subject to fitness), Riley Ayre (NSW).
U-19 Quad Series Schedule:
September 23 - Australia v South Africa, India v Zimbabwe
September 25 - Australia v Zimbabwe, India v South Africa
September 27 - Australia v India, Zimbabwe v South Africa
September 29 - Australia v South Africa, India v Zimbabwe
October 1 - Australia v Zimbabwe, India v South Africa
October 3 - Australia v India, Zimbabwe v South Africa
October 5 - Final.