Pope, the leg-spinner who claimed a record-breaking 8-35 against England at the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup earlier this year is included with Weatherald, 23, who featured in an Australian intra-squad match last year and starred with 96.

The lethal left-hander finished fourth in runs for the 2017-18 JLT Sheffield Shield season with 765, including twin tons against Western Australia at the WACA. 

The aim of the program is to add the development of players who could potentially represent Australia within the next two-to-five years.

The group will be based at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane from May until early September, working with Bupa National Performance Program Head Coach Troy Cooley and Bupa High Performance Coaches Ryan Harris and Chris Roger.

South Australian and Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey is a recent graduate of the program after impressing last year.

SA’s Nick Winter (pace), David Grant (pace), Spencer Johnson (pace), Michael Cormack (spin) and Thomas O’Connell (spin) will also join the program in their respective skill component.

This will be followed by a tour to the MRF Academy in Chennai in late July, designed for players to implement the learnings from the spin component of the program in sub-continent conditions.

The program concludes in early September, with the squad set to compete against states in pre-season matches.

2018 National Performance Squad

Jack Edwards, NSW, 18

Cameron Green, WA, 18

Ryan Hadley, NSW, 19

Baxter Holt, NSW, 18

Nathan McSweeney, QLD, 19

Jonathan Merlo, VIC, 19

Joshua Philippe, WA, 20

Lloyd Pope, SA, 18

Chad Sammut, NSW, 19

Jake Weatherald, SA, 23