With the 2018 ICC Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand now less than 12 months away, it would be easy to look ahead, but young Aussie quick Ryan Hadley has his sights set firmly on the here and now.
The 18-year-old from Blacktown in New South Wales will get his first taste of international cricket over the coming weeks, as part of the Australia Under 19s six-match series against Sri Lanka U19s in Hobart.
“It’s a massive opportunity we have here,” Hadley said.
“Obviously we arrived in Hobart a couple of days ago preparing to play the Sri Lankan team.
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“For a lot of guys it’s our first international experience … we’re coming together as a group now and starting to get to know each over this first week, and then hopefully play some quality cricket over the next few weeks.”
Hadley – who has come through the Pathway system representing NSW Metro at Under 17s level and both NSW Metro and the Cricket Australia XI at U19s level – looms as an important player if the hosts are to enjoy success against a strong Sri Lankan outfit.
With the capability to hit 135kph, the tall paceman was a member of the Team of the Championships at this season’s U19s carnival and will be looking to cause some headaches for Sri Lanka’s top order.
“To get a chance at a younger age before the World Cup against an international side against Sri Lanka is massive and I’m going to try to take it with both hands and do the best that I can,” Hadley said.
“I’ve heard a couple of things (about the Sri Lankan team) – I’ve heard their skipper bowls both arms and their top order do a bit.
“Hopefully we can come out on top at the end of the series.”
While Hadley is firmly focused on Sri Lanka, he says it’s hard not to think about the opportunities ahead for Australia’s young talent, including the possibility of selection for Cricket Australia XI squads, National Performance Squads and Futures League teams.
Already a number of his teammates have featured at CA XI and Futures League level.
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Hadley maintains if he plays his role for the team – and the team is successful – it holds him in good stead for what might be around the corner.
“There’s a couple of individual things you look for, but ultimately it’s a team sport … you look to do what’s best for your team and try to really help out your mates,” he said.
“There’s obviously individual honours… like the (U19) World Cup next year and a few performance squads and Futures League and stuff like that you kind of aim for.
“Ultimately we focus as a team on this tour and make sure we do the best we can.”
All six matches of the Australia-Sri Lanka U19 series will be live streamed on cricket.com.au.