CRICKET VENTNOR Cricket Club is to welcome one of Australia’s most talented young cricketers this summer as part of a new international cricket academy.
The Ageas Bowl International Cricket Academy (ABICA) was established to maximise use of the staff and facilities at the home of Hampshire Cricket, and four batsmen, and two bowlers will travel from Australia to develop their skills over the summer.
As part of the training programme, the six players will each compete for a club team in the Southern Electric Premier League for the duration of the English domestic cricket season.
Club chairman John Hilsum said: "We know the young Australian joining us will be a batsmen and we hope to learn who he is soon. The young players will be arriving in this country on April 29 and the Ventnor player will be available for our first league match on May 5.
"The idea is the young player will be fully involved in the club. Though they’ll be mainland based, they’ll be expected to come over and help with the colts, and train with the first team.
"They’ll also get involved in all the social activities too."
English players have, for many years, gone to Australia, South Africa and India as part of their development, and this landmark arrangement will give the international youngsters access to the world-class coaching, elite facilities, and sports science at the Ageas Bowl during Australia’s off-season.
Rod Bransgrove, Hampshire Cricket chairman, said he was looking forward to Hampshire Cricket playing a key role in the young players’ development.
He said: "This shows a high level of confidence and faith in the ABICA facilities and staff, and we look forward to working with Cricket Australia in accelerating the development of these talented young cricketers."