While the eyes of cricket fans are on the Ashes action underway in England, a host of promising Australian cricketers will be undertaking a quest of their own on the sub-continent.
The National Performance Squad will spend two and a half weeks in Chennai in India this month at the MRF Academy where they will work alongside Australian Test legend Glenn McGrath in his role as director of the MRF Pace Foundation.
The squad, which will have a pre-tour camp at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane next week, will play three one-day games and three T20 matches against MRF Academy teams between 10-28 August.
Former Test opener Chris Rogers will be the head coach for the tour.
Included in the squad is Ben McDermott (Tasmanian Tigers & Hurricanes) and Josh Philippe (Sixers) as well as promising leg-spinners Lloyd Pope (SA) and Dan Fallins (NSW) and allrounder Cameron Green (WA).
Also named were current Australian U-19 players Oliver Davies (NSW), Lachlan Hearne (NSW), Todd Murphy (Vic) and Jake Fraser-McGurk (Vic) who each played in the recent series against New Zealand Under-19 in Queensland.
Cricket Australia Pathways Manager Graham Manou, who will be the tour manager, said the tour would provide further opportunities for the players to improve their skills in what is traditionally a testing environment for touring teams.
“Australian Cricket has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the MRF Foundation for 26 years and we value the chance to take some of our young players to India to give them the chance to stretch themselves under match conditions,’’ he said.
“The pace bowlers will also have the opportunity to interact with Glenn who has a wealth of knowledge about bowling and can certainly assist them to expand their skills. The squad has a nice blend of youth and some more experienced members, so the coaching staff of Chris Rogers and Craig Howard will have plenty of options to work with,” Manou said.
2019 CA National Performance Squad – MRF Tour
Tom Andrews (SA)
Oliver Davies (NSW)
Dan Fallins (NSW)
Jake Fraser-McGurk (Vic)
Cameron Green (WA)
Ryan Hadley (NSW)
Aaron Hardie (WA)
Lachlan Hearne (NSW)
Josh Inglis (WA)
Ben McDermott (Tas)
Jonathon Merlo (Vic)
Todd Murphy (Vic)
Josh Philippe (WA)
Lloyd Pope (SA)
Graham Manou – Manager
Chris Rogers – Head Coach
Craig Howard – Assistant Coach