With the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India heading into the business end of the competition, no doubt some inspired young local cricketers will be keen to show off their skills at the Country Youth Championships to take place in Armidale in December.
For the second year in a row, Armidale will host the U13 boys cricket country youth championship.
Over 100 players across eight teams from the northern half of NSW are expected to arrive in Armidale on December 18 with games being played through till December 21 at the Armidale Sports ground.
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Northern Inland cricket manager Henry Cupitt says the U13s age bracket brings about some incredible talents.
"I guess at that age it's all still about learning. Northern Inland had a few younger players in the squad last year who showed amazing potential.
"At that age, it's all about giving them the exposure to play competitively against quality opposition," Mr Cupitt said.
In the U14s and U15s age groups, winning teams compete for the country conference title state challenge against the southern (regional) NSW winning team.
The winner in that game will earn the chance to play against the best metropolitan side in the state which will take place in April 2024.
Squads from the Mid North Coast, North Coast, Far North Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Central Coast, Hunter Valley and Northern Inland are involved.
Squads for all age brackets are expected to be announced soon.
Cricket NSW Youth Championship Officer, Jess McMahon says the competition offers incredible pathway opportunities for selected players.
"It's an extremely strong competition, it's always very competitive and in the five years we have been organising the country youth championships, we have seen numerous players go through into academies and state representative squads," Ms McMahon said.
"These competitions are technically selection tournaments, a high-performance pathway competition.
"The players have done extraordinarily well to be selected to represent their zone.
"Through performing consistently at a high calibre for their respective local clubs they have been invited to trial for the broader geographical area.
"We'll have talent scouts on the ground and staff members who are looking out for these players. We'll have country selectors and academy coaches watching to see how the players perform in that kind of elevated competitive environment," she said.
Armidale District Cricket Association President Michael Porter said Armidale was the perfect location to host tournaments of this kind.
"Last year was an amazing success, we are lucky enough here in Armidale to have a number of quality turf pitches relatively close to each other.
"ADCA supply the grounds and NSW Cricket runs the carnival, I'm looking forward to another fantastic event," Mr Porter said.
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