A pair of local cricket talents will have the opportunity to push their case for under-17 state selection during winter.
Central Park-St Brendan’s star Ethan Baxter and Cobram standout Izac Artavilla have been included in Cricket Victoria’s under-17 Country trial squad in preparation for next season.
The local duo will have to compete with 24 other rising stars across a number of training sessions throughout the off-season if it is to garner selection into the final team for the October national championships in Queensland.
The first training sessions for the side have already taken place (on April 5 and 6 in St Kilda), but the budding superstars will now take a break before joining up with the squad again in June.
‘‘Sessions will focus on both player development and skills — including nets, fielding, strength and conditioning, performance management, nutrition and trial matches,’’ according to Cricket Victoria.
Final selection decisions will be made in August before the eventual team hones in its focus ahead of one of the premier junior tournaments in the country.
Baxter and Artavilla put in outstanding senior campaigns in their respective Cricket Shepparton and Murray Valley Cricket Association seasons during summer, as well as dominating at junior level.
Baxter played 14 Haisman Shield matches for Central Park this season, snaring 15 wickets at an average of 23.2 and economy rate of 2.63.
The tearaway quick also took four victims at an average of 11.75 from three A-grade Twenty20 matches and managed a combined 7-39 across eight under-16 fixtures.
Meanwhile, Artavilla does his best work with the bat, hitting 228 premier division runs at 16.29 — with a high score of 64 not out — and 322 under-16 runs at 80.5.
The under-17 national championships will be held from October 1-11.