WA have named their 14-player squad ahead of the Cricket Australia Under-19s Male Championships to be played in Albury between November 30- December 7, headlined by the inclusions of state contracted pair Josh Vernon and Mahli Beardman.
Beardman, Vernon headline Under 19s Squad for National Championships
The pace bowling duo will represent WA in the Under 19s Championships for the second time, after showing promising signs during last year’s tournament.
Pace bowler Beardman, 18, joined WA on a rookie deal ahead of the 2023-24 domestic season, having represented Australia at underage level.
The whippy right-armer was impressive on Marsh One-Day Cup debut against New South Wales last Saturday, taking the wicket of NSW captain Moises Henriques and impressing with his raw pace.
He made his Toyota Second XI debut versus South Australia last month and has starred for Melville’s WA Premier Cricket First Grade side.
Hailing from Dampier – a remote town of around 1,300 people, based 1,500km north of Perth, Vernon earned his first state rookie contract after performing strongly for Australia in the Under 19s series against England and for Midland-Guildford in WA Premier Cricket.
The express quick collected 18 wickets across both multi-format series played against the old enemy this year, with his ability to swing the new ball at express pace a strong feature of his game.
Like Beardman, Vernon also represented WA in the Second XI for the first time against South Australia, taking two wickets.
The squad also includes batting prodigy Corey Wasley, who has been selected for a second consecutive Championships after being WA’s best performer last year.
A talented left-hander, Wasley compiled 213 runs from six innings, including a brilliant 75 in a thrilling one-wicket win over Victoria Country.
He has also featured regularly in the Second XI competition so far this summer, including blasting 206 off 218 balls against South Australia, a knock highlighted by 11 sixes.
Kai Orr will lead the side, after starting season 2023-24 in brilliant form for Joondalup in WA Premier Cricket First Grade.
The team will be coached by Male Programs Pathways Coach Brian Shields and former New Zealand international cricketer Brendon Diamanti.
WA’s campaign begins against South Australia on November 30, with the entire 50-over tournament to be played in Albury before concluding on December 7.
Reflecting on the squad, Pathways Coach – Male Programs Brian Shields said:
“We believe this is a strong and balanced squad which will shine across the six matches in Albury.
“We’re excited to see what Josh and Mahli will bring to the group – especially after their experience in the state program over the past six months. Mahli was impressive on debut in the Marsh One-Day Cup earlier in the month while Josh continues to show his talent in the Toyota Second XI competition.
“The Under 19s Championships offers the players a chance to showcase their skills, and for Josh and Mahli to get back and play amongst their peers, will only benefit their development.
“We are sending a very talented and versatile batting group to the Championships this year, with the likes of Corey Wasley and Kai Orr starting the summer in fine form in WA Premier Cricket – especially Corey who is coming off the back of a double-century in the Second XI competition.
“Mahli, Josh, Jye Donald, Rory King, and Albert Esterhuysen provide a potent fast bowling attack, while we have quality spin bowling options in Declan Power and Mitch Oliver.
“Declan was our leading wicket-taker in last year’s tournament and was selected for a Cricket Australia Camp that went to Sri Lanka in July, so he’s a serious talent.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for Kai to captain the side, he’s a promising young leader and we are thrilled to be able to give him the chance to lead the group on the national stage.”
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WA Under 19’s 14-player squad
Kai Orr – Joondalup – Captain
Mahli Beardman – Melville
Jye Donald – Rockingham-Mandurah
Albert Esterhuysen – Rockingham-Mandurah
Jake Gerrans - Joondalup
Joseph Kelly – Melville
Rory King- Claremont-Nedlands
Benji Melville- University
Mitch Oliver- Rockingham-Mandurah
Declan Power- Melville
Jordan Roads- Midland-Guildford
Sean Thompson- Claremont-Nedlands
Joshua Vernon- Midland-Guildford
Corey Wasley- Rockingham Mandurah
Click here to view Western Australia’s Under 19s National Championship Fixtures