The ICC’s East Asia-Pacific (EAP) regional office, in partnership with Cricket Australia, will next week begin a talent scouting expedition around the East Asia-Pacific region to identify five potential future stars.
Two scouts from Cricket Australia will spend a fortnight travelling through Fiji, Vanuatu and PNG conducting tests on both male and female players considered ‘on the rise’ in their cricketing careers.
The five players chosen will be awarded Talent Accelerator Scholarships that provide them access to some of the best coaches and facilities in Australia as well as a placement in an Australian State high performance program for the 2013/14 season.
“Cricket Australia has an important role to play in the expansion of the game in the East Asia-Pacific Region,” said Pat Howard, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager, Team Performance. “The quality of untapped cricket talent in the region is improving rapidly and we are excited by the possibilities and potential of many of these players.”
The talent emerging from the EAP region is turning heads in cricket circles across Australia. Players from Papua New Guinea have already been invited to train with the Queensland Bulls, and the PNG national team has been included in the revamped South Australian Cricket Association Premier League.
Kieran McMillan, the ICC East Asia-Pacific Regional Development Manager, says that the strategy behind the Talent Accelerator Scholarships is to fast track future stars to a standard further advanced than what currently exists.
“This is a unique opportunity to connect ICC EAP’s high performance program with the Cricket Australia system,” said McMillan.
“I have no doubt that players from the East Asia-Pacific region have the raw talent that, when combined with the best coaching, playing opportunities and facilities in a Full Member environment, can develop into something very special.”
It is expected that the scholarship recipients will play a significant leadership role in their respective national teams and domestic structures.The two scouts to make the pilgrimage around the Pacific are Cricket Tasmania’s State Talent Manager Michael Farrell and Joanne Broadbent who is the Head Coach of the NSW Lend Lease Breakers.
“These trips are great for everyone involved,” said Farrell.
“It is important for Cricket Australia to spread their knowledge to the EAP region and to learn things from them as well.”
Both Farrell and Broadbent believe that the region has the talent to produce future first class players and opportunities such as this are a step in the right direction to making that a reality.
“I think the chances of seeing a player from EAP competing at a domestic level in Australia in the near future is very realistic provided they are committed, hardworking and willing to travel away from their families,” said Broadbent.
“Players from this region will continue to improve as the game develops,” added Farrell.
“As long as this happens and opportunities in the game continue to expand, the reality of someone from the region playing first class cricket is very real”.
The pair will join ICC East Asia-Pacific Regional Development Officer Jane Livesey on the trip that begins in Fiji on the 22 April and concludes in PNG on the 3 May.
First Posted 18 April, 2013 11:54AM AEDT