Six of Australia’s AIS Hampshire scholars will get the opportunity to soak up the excitement and prestige of the Ashes as they join the squad over the coming month in a development capacity.
Ashton Turner, Scott Henry, Cameron Boyce, Alex Keath, Will Bosisto and Travis Head will each join the squad for five days over the first, third and fourth Tests. Boyce was a late addition to the Hampshire scholars program replacing 19-year-old Ashton Agar who made his Test debut at Trent Bridge.
The six players currently play for six different club teams in the Southern Electric Premier League in Hampshire.
Turner and Henry are the first two players the join the team and are currently in Nottingham.
Executive General Manager Team Performance Pat Howard said the opportunity for some of Australia’s brightest cricketing prospects to be in and around an Ashes Series was fantastic.
“These players have already been lucky enough to spend eight weeks in England with Hampshire Cricket generously offering them the chance to learn and play in local conditions. For the players to be exposed to the pressure and atmosphere of an Ashes Series in England is a rare opportunity.
“The experience and knowledge they will gain in just a short period with the squad will hopefully accelerate their development as Australia’s future professional cricketers. This initiative is another element of our player pathway program designed to prepare these players for international cricket,” Howard said.
West Australian Turner said the chance to spend some time with the squad was unbelievable.
“I have had the chance to bowl to the Aussie team in the nets at home before but being at an Ashes Test is a whole other level.
“Just being in and around the group and being able to soak up some of the excitement is an awesome experience and I think will help us cope with big occasions should we get the opportunity to play at this level in the future,” said Turner.
Turner said he has enjoyed catching up with his old Under 19 teammate Agar.
“I have played a lot of cricket with Ash, both in WA and for the Under 19s. It was awesome to be there to see him get his Baggy Green and then to play the innings he did under that pressure was just fantastic,” Turner said.
Boyce and Keath will join the squad at Old Trafford for the third Test while Head and Bosisto will link up with the side in Durham.
Cricket Australia partnered with Hampshire Cricket to send the players to Ageas Bowl International Cricket Academy (ABICA) in England where players have the opportunity to train and play in elite state-of-the-art facilities in England during Australia’s domestic off-season.
The program and partnership with Hampshire Cricket forms part of the 2013 AIS Men’s Cricket Program and the Kerry Packer Foundation will provide scholarships to the selected players, in its continued endeavour to support young cricketers.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 12 July, 2013 11:32AM AEDT