By Nick Creely
A string of local youngsters have been rewarded for their performances last season with selection in Cricket Victoria’s under-19 Male Emerging Performance Squad.
Casey-South Melbourne trio Ashley Chandrasinghe (Buckley Ridges), Ashvin Adihetty (Berwick Springs) and Evan Allaway (Korumburra) have been selected from the Victorian Premier Cricket outfit out of Casey Fields after taking fine steps in their development in 2019/20.
Rising youngster Chandrasinghe, who only recently starred for Waratah with 61 in the grand final in the Darwin cricket competition, was one of the biggest improvers at the Swans last season, with the stylish opening batsman making his first XI debut and crunching an incredible 144 on debut against Northcote.
Adihetty has featured twice at first XI level and continues to develop strongly as a spinner, while also taking eight wickets in four games in an impressive carnival for the Southern Pioneers in the Under-18 Youth Premier League, and will push hard to lock in a spot in the Swans’ line-up this season.
Rising quick Allaway from South Gippsland has also taken great strides in his development, reaching the seconds last season after starting the year in the fourths, and was impressive in the Youth Premier League for Gippsland in 2019/20 with three wickets in his five games.
From the Richmond Cricket Club, a trio of Dandenong District Cricket Association (DDCA) youngsters will also form part of the squad, with Yash Pednekar (North Dandenong), Jono D’Rozario (Buckley Ridges) and Reiley Mark (Berwick) all named.
The trio all made their first XI debuts at Premier level last season, impressing at Central Reserve, with Berwick spinner Mark featuring nine times at the level, while quality top-order batsman Pednekar and all-rounder D’Rozario both featured twice at the level while impressing once again at representative level.
From Dandenong, Luke Kranzbuhler and Angus Newman have been named, with the south-east pair developing steadily at Shepley Oval, with the pair set to push for first XI debuts in 2020/21.
The squad – which is based on performances at club level, Youth Premier League and National Championships last season – has undertaken a series of virtual training sessions in recent months with Victorian high performances coaches; industry experts; and ex-international players Cam White, Clint McKay, Michael Beer and coach Greg Shipperd, while also tapping into the expertise of current stars Pete Handscomb, Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris to learn about life as a professional cricketer and spending long periods on the road.
Members of the squad are now in contention to represent Victoria in the Under-19 National Championships, which are planned to be staged in Adelaide in April, while sessions will also be moved to the CitiPower Centre when State Governmant and health advice allows.
“The way the players have embraced the program throughout the early stages is a reflection of their excellent attitude and eagerness to develop all elements of their game. We’re looking forward to hopefully utilising the full benefits of our facilities at the CitiPower Centre in the coming months,” Cricket Victoria’s Jarrad Loughman said.
“No official announcement has been made yet regarding the status of the National Championships but we are hopeful it’ll go ahead in April and provide an opportunity for Victorian players to test themselves against the country’s best underage talent.
“Ultimately we want to expose squad members to a range of quality cricket opportunities that provide both challenges and satisfaction, whilst complimenting their continued growth as young Victorian cricketers within club environments and their own individual skill development.”