The JLT One-Day Cup is about to begin, and on the back of Sam Ferris’ article (which you should definitely check out), I realised just how many exciting young prospects will be taking part in the tournament.
Ferris nominated Xavier Bartlett, Mackenzie Harvey, Ben McDermott, Jason Sangha, Cameron Valente and Josh Philippe, but the list of talent doesn’t end there.
So while the footy finals finish up and the Aussies tough it out in the UAE, I’ve chosen an alternative six future stars of Australian cricket who will make it big (hopefully) this summer.
Mickey Edwards, 23, right arm fast medium
The fast bowler has had plenty of injury problems over the last few years, so fingers crossed for a clean bill of health this summer. Edwards, who stands at 198cm, gained notoriety when fielding for Australia during the Sydney Test in January 2017. However, he’s played just six games for NSW and one BBL match since then.
Edwards’ best performance was his four wickets against Tasmania in the JLT Cup last year, troubling the Tigers with his steep bounce, which is his main weapon.
The blond-haired quickie won’t get a better chance to make a name for himself than this JLT Cup – look for him to take the new ball and cause some headaches for the batsmen, both figuratively and literally.
Sam Heazlett, 23, left hand bat
Yes, Heazlett played an ODI in January last year, but we’ve hardly heard from him since.Embed from Getty Images
In fact, he only played two matches in the 2017 JLT Cup, one of which included a 65-ball 72 against Tasmania. We know he’s got what it takes, we just want to see him take the competition by storm.
At his best, Heazlett is a damaging, clean-striker of the ball who scores at a naturally fast pace. Could he and captain Chris Lynn become the most destructive duo in state cricket?
Spencer Johnson, 22, left arm fast
The Redbacks have high hopes for the left arm quick Johnson, who has struggled to stay on the park since his JLT Cup debut against Victoria last year.
After missing most of last season with an ankle injury, South Australia coach says you should expect to see speeds of up to 145kmph from Johnson.
The left-arm factor is another big thing in Johnson’s favour, because he is one of only three pace bowlers in the JLT squads who isn’t a right-arm bowler (Jackson Coleman from Victoria and Joel Paris from Western Australia are the others).
Jake Doran, 21, left hand bat, wicketkeeper
It’s hard to believe the talented Doran is still only 21 years old, because he’s been on the state scene for a full three seasons now. He finally cracked his maiden first class century last summer, but is yet to find success in the one-day game.Embed from Getty Images
In case you need reminding, Doran played at the under 19 World Cup in 2014, averaging 82.7 for the tournament. He then moved from NSW to Tasmania as an 18 year old, to make his debut for new state in 2015-16.
While it’s unlikely Doran will get to keep wicket with Matthew Wade in the side, he will get a chance to improve on his average of 25.2 from 10 one-day matches.
Tom O’Connell, 18, right arm leg spin
The highly sought after leggie was offered a multi-year contract by Victoria after a stellar season with Sturt in the SACA Premier Competition, claiming a competition best 47 wickets.
Still a teenager, the Vics have identified O’Connell as their long term spinner – the prolific Fawad Ahmed was not offered a contract for this summer and Jon Holand is starting to get some more regular international appearances.
Leg-spinners take time but as we’ve seen many, many times, can be match-winners. Can’t wait to see what O’Connell brings to the table this summer.
Cameron Green, 19, right arm medium fast
Green is another one of these young fast bowlers who have shown a glimpse of terrific talent, and then broken down.Embed from Getty Images
Green snared 5-24 on Sheffield Shield debut for Western Australia in February 2017 as a 17-year-old, and then took 3-20 in the following match.
But, stress fractures ruined his entire 2017-18 season. The under-19 matches that he did play in December last year, he could only bat and did not bowl.
So, having spent the pre-season at with the National Performance Squad in Brisbane, he’s fully fit and ready to hit the JLT Cup with pace.