The groundswell surrounding the rapid growth of women’s cricket in Australia will be reflected in a series of matches next month in Brisbane.
Queensland Cricket will stage its second Rookie Challenge series which is expressly targeted at developing the most promising teenage female players in the State.
The Rookie Challenge series features four teams playing a series of 50-over and T20 matches over three days at Wests at Graceville as well as a live-in camp at St Margaret’s College.
The Challenge is an official part of the Queensland Cricket Pathway and provides opportunity for 48 of the State’s most talented players aged between 13 and 18 to showcase their skills and earn selection for Queensland Youth squads.
Include in the squads are wicket-keeper Josie Dooley and allrounder Carly Fuller, who were named earlier this month as contracted players with the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire, and pace bowler Renee Irvine who made her debut last season for the Fire in the Women’s National Cricket League and the WBBL Heat while still at high school.
As well, Kate Ferling, the cousin of WBBL Heat and Fire fast bowler Holly Ferling will test her development in the format.
Like her older relative, Kate Ferling is also a pace bowler who plays grade cricket in the Kingaroy male competition.
Also included is Redlands schoolgirl Chlodagh Ryall who played for the Queensland Indigenous Women’s team last season alongside Fuller.
Male and Female Rookie Challenge series are held each year as part of the Queensland Player Pathway system which aims to encourage players aged 12-18 to work though representative levels to Queensland teams.
The teams will play matches at Western Suburbs ground at Graceville next month.
Performances in the Rookie Challenge will contribute towards selection in the Queensland Under-18 women’s team that will compete in the National titles later this year.
State Talent and Pathways Manager – Female, Andy Richards, said the Challenge was mirroring the surge in women’s cricket around the country,
“We’re seeing more female players come through each year and that means greater competition for spots,’’ he said.
“For instance around 25% of the players in the Challenge this year are under 15 this year as compared to around 50% last year, so our critical mass is growing in those age groups.”
“With that increase, Queensland U18 selection will be quite challenging this season but we expect to produce a very well balanced team.”
Richards said it was also heartening to see several players earn selection in the teams from regional and rural centres.
“It’s very encouraging to see so many players from the regions and Queensland Cricket’s Talent Officers are really working head to identify those individuals and work with them as part of our overall female Pathway program,” he said.
Queensland Cricket U18 Female Rookie Challenge
September 18th – 20th (playing days)
Western Suburbs District, Oxley Road, Graceville
Lauryn Anderson (Darling Downs/Ipswich-Logan)
Eliza Barnett (Wynnum-Manly)
Ruby Blunn (University of QLD)
Josie Dooley (c) (wk) (Western Suburbs)
Kate Ferling (Kingaroy/Sunshine Coast)
Sarah Grove (Redlands)
Isobel Hartog (Western Suburbs)
Eliza Kelly (Darling Downs)
Neve Lynch (Valley)
Georgia Sandford (Gold Coast)
Courtney Sippel (Murgon/Western Suburbs)
Hiruni Don (Gold Coast)
Coach: Kathryn Black
QC Rep: Graham Power
Jess Bradley (wk) (Valley)
Charlotte Briggs (Sunshine Coast)
Julia Cavanough (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Gillian Chalmers (Western Suburbs)
Kirsten Davey (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Elle Johnston (Darling Downs/Ipswich-Logan)
Charli Knott (Valley)
Maggie Murphy (c) (Darling Downs/Western Suburbs)
Stacey Rockliffe (wk) (North QLD/Townsville)
Alana Romano (Ingham)
Chlodagh Ryall (Redlands)
Laine Sunderland (Valley)
Coach: Mel Knack
QC Rep: Jamie Fenech
Eliza Carr (Ingham)
Carly Fuller (c) (Gold Coast
Chelsea Gan (Gold Coast)
Renee Irvine (Wondai)
Emma Jackson (Darling Downs/Ipswich-Logan)
Ruth Johnston (Darling Downs/Ipswich-Logan)
Jemma Savill (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Sarah Lockhart (Redlands)
Caitlin Mair (wk) (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Meg Mettam (Darling Downs)
Olivia Steel (Wynnum-Manly)
Annie Wikman (Western Suburb)
Coach: Garry Lovett & Simon Bussey
Lily Awyzio (Western Suburbs)
Charni Bloxsom (Central QLD/Mackay)
Olivia Hartland (Western Suburbs)
Kira Holmes (wk) (Ipswich-Logan)
Tatum Stewart (Darling Downs)
Kate McDonald (Redlands)
Lily Mills (c) (Sunshine Coast/Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Chloe Murphy (Darling Downs/Ipswich-Logan)
Olivia Roch (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Tierney Sunderland (Valley)
Ruby Strange (Central QLD/Gladstone)
Georgia Voll (Darling Downs/Ipswich-Logan)
Coach: Steve Collins
QC Rep: Richard Griffiths