Cricket Australia (CA) today announced an exciting new initiative for the KFC T20 Big Bash League that will see all teams sign on two players on Community and Development Rookie Contracts.
The concept is part of a wider plan to provide opportunities to players who might not otherwise be identified as one of Australian cricket’s pathway programs.
The Community Rookie Contracts may comprise of players from rural communities, indigenous backgrounds, low socio-economic areas, and those from non-English speaking backgrounds.
The Development Rookie Contracts will be available to players under the age of 21 who are eligible to represent Australia under ICC eligibility rules or are an approved Australian resident.
Players will not be part of their BBL team’s squad of 18 players, but they can be signed as a replacement player in the event of an injury to a squad member.
Cricket Australia General Manager Operations Mike McKenna said this was a fantastic chance for the BBL and teams to unearth players who could potentially go on to represent Australia in all forms of the game.
“These 16 rookie contracts will expose some talented young cricketers to high performance environments they perhaps would have not normally had the chance to experience.
“The contracts will be offered to players not currently in cricket’s pathway system, whether that be through their lack of resources, or coming from a remote area or diverse background where exposure to top level cricket has not traditionally been readily available.
“Our National Talent Manager Greg Chappell will work very closely with the State Talent Managers to identify players that fit the criteria.
“Rookies will train with their BBL teams, take advantage of their facilities, coaching and support staff. This is a chance for teams to contribute to the identification and development of the next generation of cricketers.
“Ultimately our goal is to see some of these rookies develop into the future stars of Australian cricket and one day watch them walk onto a Test arena wearing the Baggy Green.
“As we head into summer and start preparing for cricket season, this initiative will hopefully inspire budding cricketers to pick up a bat or ball, sign up at a club and play cricket,” Mr McKenna said.
The awarding of all rookie contracts will be subject to CA approval.
First Posted 28 August, 2013 11:30AM AEDT