Youth squad to visit MRF Academy in Chennai

Youth squad to visit MRF Academy in Chennai

The National Selection Panel (NSP) has chosen eight men’s players to visit the MRF Academy in Chennai in August.

The 10-day visit is predominantly focussed on emerging batsmen and spin bowlers the NSP feel will benefit from experiencing the unique conditions of sub-continent cricket. 

Cricket Australia’s relationship with the MRF Academy allows for a customised experience for those chosen. The schedule combines match play with intense training opportunities along with access to strength and conditioning. 

The players to attend from August 7-17 are:

Cooper Connolly (WA/Scarborough Cricket Club)

Henry Hunt (SA/Kensington Cricket Club)

Matt Kuhnemann (QLD/ Gold Coast District Cricket Club)

Todd Murphy (VIC/St Kilda Cricket Club)

Josh Philippe (WA/Scarborough Cricket Club)

Will Pucovski (VIC/Melbourne Cricket Club)

Tanveer Sangha (NSW/Campbelltown-Camden Cricket Club)

Teague Wyllie (WA/ Rockingham Mandurah Cricket Club)

The group will be coached by former Sri Lankan allrounder Thilan Samaraweera. Australian men’s selector Tony Dodemaide will travel as tour manager. Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath will join the coaching staff in his role as a consultant to the Academy.

“It is exciting to renew the partnership with the MRF Academy and provide this group of young players a truly unique experience,” Dodemaide said. “Some have toured the subcontinent in the past so this trip will further refine their skills while others will gain valuable new experience in these testing conditions.”

The eight players will integrate with local players in training and in a two-day and one-day match within the camp block. The MRF Academy visit complements the Australia A program following a hiatus brought by the complexities of the Covid pandemic.

While the Australian group will be at the MRF Academy two Indian fast bowlers will head to Brisbane as part of the exchange program.

Left-arm fast bowlers Chetan Sakariya (Rajasthan Royals) and Mukesh Choudhary (Chennai Super Kings) will play in the KFC T20 Max competition, train at the Bupa National Cricket Centre and join Queensland Bulls pre-season training.

Sakriya, 24, made his debut for India last year in T20 and One Day Internationals in the series against Sri Lanka. Both pacemen played in the most recent IPL tournament, where Rajasthan were beaten in the Final by Gujarat Titans.

Player and coaching exchanges between the MRF Pace Foundation and Cricket Australia have been in place for almost 20 years, with this summer the first exchange since being paused due to the pandemic.