This is the third annual intake for the program, which commenced in 2015 to help identify and nurture Australia’s next generation of stars, aged between 14 and 17.

In just two years, the program has already helped develop players who now have state contracts.

The Pathways Rookie Squad is selected by the Youth Selection Panel in conjunction with State and Territory Talent Managers, with selection designed to create future playing and training opportunities at a state or national level.

2017 Pathways Rookie Squad South Australian representatives (current club in brackets)

South Australia: Zac Worden (Tea Tree Gully), Ryan King (East Torrens), Kyle Brazell (Tea Tree Gully), Sam Rahaley (Kensington), Will Bowering (Glenelg), Suraj Rajesh (Southern District)

Cricket Australia’s Underage National Championships will feature two major additions in 2017-18, including the first-ever Under 19 male day-night matches and an additional Twenty20 Cup for Australia’s most talented Under 18 females.

Lloyd Pope is a product of the National Championships and has been rewarded with a South Australian rookie contract, after producing figures of 6-21 from just 5.5 overs in the competition last year.

Cricket Australia Female High Performance Coach Leah Poulton said:

“The addition of a Twenty20 competition will provide a terrific opportunity for the best players under the age of 18 across the country to continue to develop their skills in the shortest form of the game, with T20 cricket now a critical element of the women’s game.”

“We’ve already seen some of last year’s group of players go on to make their WBBL debuts and to see so many receiving state contracts this year shows that the system is working.

“It’s exciting to see the depth of talented players continuing to increase and it’s vital that we continue to advance a system that will allow them to develop into future Australian players.”

The Under 17 Male National Championships will kick-start the Pathways summer, again being played on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane, from 25 September to 5 October.

To round out the summer in January, the Under 15 Female National Championships will be played in Adelaide, from 17-23 January.

Tournament Dates

September 25 to October 5 – Under 17 Male National Championships (Sunshine Coast and Brisbane)

November 27 to December 7 – Under 18 Female National Championships (Canberra)

December 4 to 15 – Under 19 Male National Championships (Hobart and Launceston)

January 17 to 23 – Under 15 Female National Championships (Adelaide)