ICC Under-19 World Cup 2020
Next generation: Australia reveal U19 World Cup squad
Shield debutants and Big Bash rising stars headline squad that is bound for next year's teen tournament in South Africa
13 December 2019, 08:00 AM AEST
Victoria's teenage Sheffield Shield sensation Jake Fraser-McGurk will headline Australia's 15-man squad at next year's Under 19 World Cup in South Africa.
Fraser-McGurk, who does not turn 18 until next April, hit a fifty on his Marsh Sheffield Shield debut with Victoria in November, and followed it days later with a half-century in the Marsh One-Day Cup.
The Australian teens will be coached by Test greats Chris Rogers and Ryan Harris, who are now part of Cricket Australia's High Performance Program, with Australia playing three pool matches in Kimberley before the 16-team competition splits into two groups of eight for a Super League and Plate finals series.
Fraser-McGurk is joined by fellow Victorian Mackenzie Harvey in a squad that includes seven players with state contracts, while three of the squad have KFC Big Bash League contracts.
Fraser-McGurk and Harvey are both with defending BBL champions the Melbourne Renegades, while leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha has been tipped to star in BBL09 by Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond.
The trio's selections means they will miss the bulk of the BBL - U19 players go into camp on January 5 - although they will be available for the opening weeks of the tournament.
The squad has been named after NSW Metro won the U19 National Championships final, beating Victoria Metro by 48 runs in the final at the WACA Ground on Thursday.
Victorious NSW Metro captain Lachlan Hearne capped his World Cup selection by hitting an even 100 in the final to take his U19 tournament tally to 462 runs at 66, making him the leading run-scorer.
Liam Scott, who made his Shield debut for South Australia in November having moved to the state from NSW during the winter, will add more batting firepower.
Ollie Davies, the Sydney Thunder contracted run-scoring star who is currently battling an arm injury, has been included and is expected to be fit in time for the tournament.
Davies missed this year's U19 Championships with injury but played in the 2018 edition where he smashed a record-breaking 207, including 17 sixes, six of which came in the same over.
Highly-rated left-handed opener Sam Fanning, who smashed a ton for Australia's Under 19s against Sri Lanka last summer and now holds a rookie contract with Western Australia having moved over from NSW, has also been selected.
Every boundary from Sam Fanning's ton for the Aussie U19s ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Y3HxQY6iYQ— Cricket Aus Pathway (@CAPathway) January 4, 2019
Victoria-contracted player Patrick Rowe is the squad's wicketkeeper-batsman after scoring two centuries at the U19 Championships for Victoria Country.
The fast bowling contingent will be led by Queensland Bulls contracted pair Connor Sully and Matthew Willans, while Sangha, Victoria Country’s Todd Murphy and Western Australia’s Cooper Connolly will form a potent spin trio.
World Cup selection continues a meteoric upward trajectory for Connolly, a 16-year-old who is also a top-order batsman.
He scored 264 runs in WA's Under 17 team that won the National Championships in October. That earned him selection into the CA XI team that played in the U19 Championships, where he scored 396 runs at 66 against the older opposition, as well as taking eight wickets with his spin bowling.
NSW Metro fast bowlers Liam Marshall and Bradley Simpson, plus South Australian bowling allrounder Corey Kelly, round out the 15-man squad.
Cricket Australia National Talent & Pathway Manager, Graham Manou, said: “Our squad includes players of all disciplines with experience in domestic cricket environments, with some having already made promising starts to their careers at senior level.
"The Under-19 World Cup provides these players with an exceptional development opportunity and we look forward to seeing them represent their country with distinction."
The squad will assemble at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane for a training camp from January 5 to 9 before heading to South Africa.
Australia U19 World Cup squad: Cooper Connolly, Oliver Davies, Sam Fanning, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, Lachlan Hearne, Corey Kelly, Liam Marshall, Todd Murphy, Patrick Rowe, Tanveer Sangha, Liam Scott, Bradley Simpson, Connor Sully, Matthew Willans.
Australia's U19 World Cup fixtures
v West Indies, January 18, Diamond Oval, Kimberley
v Nigeria, January 20, Country Club B Field, Kimberley
v England, January 23, Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Quarter-finals: from January 27
Semi-finals: February 4 and 6, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
Final: February 9, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
Beat the heat but still enjoy the cricket! Twilight tickets for the Domain Test in Perth are just $25, granting entry for the second and third sessions of the day. Click here for more