Blacktown Cricket Club’s Youvraj Sharma, Lawson Eva and Dhruv Kant are getting an early start to the 2017-18 season.
The talented trio have been named in squads for the under-17s NSW State Challenge later this month with the opportunity to make the NSW national championships team in late September.
Named in the Thunder Metro Zone squad, wicketkeeper-batsman Lawson Eva, 16, said it was a great opportunity to test their skills against the best in the state.
“It means a lot because you get to see where you are in the age group and you can start pushing to get a little higher,” he said.
“You go well at State Challenge, then there’s a pathway to nationals and then there’s a pathway to under-17s and then potentially the opportunity to go to under-19s as well.
“The pathway now is a lot better and there are more opportunities to get somewhere and progress through the ranks. It’s a huge opportunity and with the Big Bash, the game is evolving.”
It was a big season for Lawson last year, playing the season in second grade and being selected in the Australian under-16s squad to play Pakistan in Dubai.
Dhruv, also a wicketkeeper-batsman and selected in the Sixers Metro Zone squad, is a year younger than Lawson but is hot on his heels, finishing last season in third grade.
A former under-15s NSW representative, Dhruv has another year to try to make the under-17s squad and has been working hard in the pre-season.
“There has been a lot of pre-season and a lot of training,” he said. “It’s been great to train with the best players in NSW so hopefully I can bring that back to our team and lead from the front.”
Youvraj, who is a batting all-rounder for the Sixers side, is looking forward to the opportunity.
“It was pretty big for me because I’m a year younger than the other guys and I didn’t make the academy squad but was called back in to make the team,” he said.
“I was pretty excited when I got the call up because it’s a pretty good level we train at.”
The under-17s NSW State Challenge will run from August 18-20 in Coffs Harbour ahead of the State Championships in Brisbane from September 25 to October 5.