Sutherland to pursue cricket career

The talented teenager has decided to continue with cricket ahead of next year's Under 19 World Cup

Australia Under 19 star Will Sutherland has turned his back on the AFL and decided to pursue a career in cricket. 

Sutherland co-captained the Australia Under 19 team earlier this year, with the talented allrounder impressing with bat and ball during a five-game series against Sri Lanka.

The son of Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland smashed 54 from just 49 balls in game two against Sri Lanka and then backed up that performance with a quickfire 49 in the following game.

Quick Single: Strapping Sutherland on upward curve

The 17-year-old has also recently impressed AFL scouts, with some excellent performances for his school side and for Vic Metro at the Under-18 National Championships last month.

But those performances weren't enough to convince Sutherland to stick with AFL, with the 195cm youngster deciding to continue down the path that should see him play a big part in Australia's Under 19 World Cup campaign in New Zealand next year.

“This was an incredibly tough decision," Sutherland said via a statement on Sunday.

WATCH: Sutherland shines with the ball

"Most of the advice that I received was to just follow my passion. 

"That sounds easy enough, but not so much when my passion is for both sports. 

"I really loved my experience in the recent Under 18 National Championships when representing Vic Metro and this only made the decision more difficult.

“When it came down to it, my love and passion for the game of cricket just won out. 

"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed representing my state and country in the under-age ranks and the prospect of potentially being able to continue this at the senior level is very much my dream.

“I’m excited and relieved about this decision and will now look to focus on completing my Year 12 studies.”

Cricket Victoria General Manager of Cricket Shaun Graf was pleased with Sutherland's decision and said he will continue to support the teenager as he continues to develop his skills.

“We’re pleased Will has made this decision and we look forward to supporting him through the rest of his Year 12 studies and his Cricket Pathway," Graf said.

“The full Cricket Victoria squad lists for the upcoming 2017-18 season will be announced following the resolution of an MOU.”