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Cricket Australia XI Squad Announced Ahead of their Matador BBQs One-Day Cup Debut

As many as eight additional players could make their List A debuts next month in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup following the announcement today of the inaugural Cricket Australia XI for the tournament.

The CA XI will be the seventh team in the competition and has been selected from State contracted players and National Pathway squads to provide a greater level of exposure and opportunity for the next generation of cricketers.

There are 12 current or former Australian Under-19 players in the 14-man squad, with Zimbabwean-born West Australian all-rounder Hilton Cartwright and Queensland leg-spinner Mitch Swepson, the only members not to have donned the green and gold at youth level.

All-rounder Alex Gregory, 20, who made his Matador Cup debut last season for the West End Redbacks, will captain the side and is one of six players with previous List A experience.

Gregory, Cartwright, my FootDR Queensland Bulls wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson, Tasmanian Tigers batsman Ben McDermott, Commonwealth Bank Victorian Bushrangers all-rounder Matt Short and Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors quick Matt Dixon have all played one-day cricket for their respective States.

There are four players with First Class experience – McDermott, Dixon, Cartwright and Queensland all-rounder Jack Wildermuth.

Peirson, Victorian batsman Seb Gotch and Queensland all-rounder James Bazley played in the CA XI T20 side last season, which played a tour match against South Africa.

Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said the CA XI concept was designed to give high-potential players from around the country more opportunity to play at domestic level.

“The idea behind it was to make sure the next generation of cricketers were going to get the opportunities they need to keep their development going,’’ Chappell said.

“There will be some familiar names from having played a little bit of First Class cricket or a little bit of 50-over cricket for their State previously.

“They are the ones the public can start looking at with the view to perhaps watching them grow over the next few years, get into their State sides and hopefully go on to represent Australia.”

Chappell said research had found that on average over the past three seasons, one State contracted player and three rookie contracted players had failed to play a single game of domestic cricket.

“They will be competitive,” he said.

“There are probably three or four players that we thought we might have in the CA XI side who have gone on and been selected by their States and we would expect them to play prominent roles in their State squad.

“So maybe we have frightened some of the States into thinking they needed to pick some of their young players and, if that’s the case, that’s terrific,” Chappell said.

Bupa National Cricket Centre Head Coach Troy Cooley and former England International Graeme Hick, an Australian Under-19 coach, will be in charge of preparing the squad ahead of their opening game against NSW on Monday 5 October at Bankstown Oval in Sydney.

Swepson, a 21-year-old wrist-spinner from the Sandgate-Redcliffe club, finds himself in the CA XI following some impressive efforts over the winter.

A late invitee to the National Spin Week camp at the Bupa NCC in May, Swepson was subsequently invited to travel to India to work alongside other National Performance Squad scholars at the MRF Pace Foundation Academy in Chennai in June.

He followed this with some solid efforts at the recent State practice camps in Brisbane, including a haul of 4-38 against South Australia.

Fast bowlers Jhye Richardson (WA) and Liam Hatcher (NSW) were strong performers for Australia against England on their tour in July, while batsman Sam Heazlett (QLD) scored a century against England U-19 when they toured Australia in April.

ACT/New South Wales Country left-arm spinner Riley Ayre, who hails from Denman in the Upper Hunter Valley, was another to impress during the off-season.

Peirson and McDermott (Brisbane Heat), Cartwright and Dixon (Perth Scorchers) and Short (Melbourne Renegades) have all tasted action in the KFC T20 Big Bash League as well.

Cricket Australia XI squad for Matador Cup

Sam Heazlett (QLD)

James Peirson (wk) (QLD)

Ben McDermott (wk) (TAS)

James Bazley (QLD)

Seb Gotch (VIC)

Matthew Short (VIC)

Alex Gregory (c) (SA)

Jack Wildermuth (QLD)

Jhye Richardson (WA)

Liam Hatcher (NSW)

Mitch Swepson (QLD)

Hilton Cartwright (WA)

Riley Ayre (ACT/NSW)

Matthew Dixon (WA)

Coaches: Troy Cooley, Graeme Hick

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