By Ahmad Khawaja
Preparation for the Indoor Cricket World Cup is now in full swing after Australia named their 12-strong squads in each grade for the tournament, following the completion of their National Championships last weekend at Casey Stadium, Melbourne.
Teams were named in the Open Men’s, Open Women’s, 22 and Under Men and 22 and Under Women’s grades who will contest the title at the same venue from 8-15 October.
After their domination at the National Championships, it was unsurprising that there were 21 players named from Queensland across the four squads. The Queensland Open Men, Women and 22 and Under Women won their respective grades, whilst the 22 and Under Men finished runners-up to New South Wales.
The World Cup
The Indoor Cricket World Cup for the Open and 22 and Under grades is contested every three years, as sanctioned by the World Indoor Cricket Federation. The multi-team tournament is also expected to feature fellow powerhouses New Zealand and South Africa, as well as England, India, Sri Lanka, UAE, and Singapore. Other teams will be named in due course.
The tournament has been delayed since 2020 when it was supposed to be last held, due to the impact of COVID-19, and is the first one being played since the 2017 edition in the UAE. Australia has long dominated world indoor cricket and have an incredible record in the tournament since the first edition in England in 1995. The Open Men have won all 10 titles to date, and the Women on all nine occasions since the first Women’s grade held in 1998.
The tournament takes place from Casey Stadium, Melbourne, from 8-15 October, just prior to the T20 World Cup which is being held across Australia.
The Open Men has a very familiar, experienced look to it, with the inclusion of many international players with plenty of World Cup experience. Australia last played international cricket in September 2019, when they toured New Zealand for a five-match series which they won 3-2. From that tour, there are seven players included in coach Brenton Brien’s World Cup squad – captain Lyle Teske, Rob Fitzgerald, Rhys Dearness, Josh Dreaver (Queensland), Matthew Floros, Luke Ryan (ACT), and Kieran Perkins (Victoria). Greg Connor (New South Wales) earns a recall after last playing in 2016. Ryan was awarded the Allan Wilson Medal for best indoor cricket player after his performance at the National Championships, which included 182 runs, six wickets and an overall net contribution of 66 across the 12 matches he played.
A notable inclusion is veteran player Vinesh Bennett (ACT), who last played in the Open Men’s grade at the 2017 World Cup in the UAE, and effectively retired from international cricket thereafter. He featured for Australia in the Over-40 Men’s grade at the Masters World Series in South Africa in 2019. However, his performance over the past week at the Nationals has clearly shown his desire to play at the top level still burns bright.
There will be debuts for Western Australia captain Josh Fontana and Beau Zorko (Queensland) who both had impressive tournaments. Fontana played for the 22 and Under Men on that New Zealand tour.
The team is rounded out by the first-time inclusion of Clive Rose from Victoria. The 32-year-old Rose is a former first-class player and Australia Under-19 representative, who has played for both Victoria and Tasmania in first-class, one-day and T20 cricket. He is better known for his crafty left-arm orthodox bowling, which saw him play for Melbourne Stars and in recent seasons Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League (BBL), racking up 58 caps in the process.
The Open Women’s team has a slightly different look to it following the retirements of captain Jude Coleman and Briony Polkinghorne. Coleman has recently been appointed as one of the Assistant Coaches to the Australian Women’s team as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later this month. This had followed stints with Australia A and South Australia in recent seasons. A five-time World Cup winning captain and former cricketer for Queensland herself, Coleman was deservedly inducted into the Indoor Cricket Hall of Fame last weekend.
However, there is still a plethora of experience in this line-up in addition to some new faces who have come up from the 22 and Under system. Six players from the New Zealand tour are in the World Cup squad, including Nicole Martin, Adelaide Campion (Victoria), Dulane Carson, Samantha Dixon, Allison Maxwell (Queensland) and Neisha Iles (South Australia). There is a return for Ashleigh Doble and Laura Shaw, and a move up from the 22 and Under side for Alexandra Weeks, Madeleine Wright, and Emily Vallance.
Australia Squads for the Indoor Cricket World Cup 2022:
Vinesh Bennett (ACT), Greg Connor (NSW), Rhys Dearness (QLD), Josh Dreaver (QLD), Rob Fitzgerald (QLD), Matt Floros (ACT), Josh Fontana (WA), Kieran Perkins (VIC), Clive Rose (VIC/TAS), Luke Ryan (ACT), Lyle Teske (QLD), Beau Zorko (QLD)
Coach: Brenton Brien (QLD), Manager: Tony Panecasio (NSW).
Adelaide Campion (VIC), Dulane Carson (QLD), Samantha Dixon (QLD), Ashleigh Doble (QLD), Neisha Iles (SA), Ainslee Knight (SA), Nicole Martin (VIC), Allison Maxwell (QLD), Laura Shaw (VIC), Emily Vallance (QLD), Alexandra Weeks (QLD), Madeleine Wright (VIC),
Coach: Wendy Kemp (QLD), Manager: Maleah Harris (QLD).
22 and Under Men:
Jonathan D’Rozario (VIC), Cameron Todd (WA), Oliver Styles (VIC), Daniel Van Hees (VIC), Blair Overton (NSW), Brock Larance (NSW), Jaidyn Teske (QLD), Jacob Verstegen (QLD), Jack Langdon (NSW), Ryleigh Cameron (WA), Daniel Ost (QLD), Lachlan Campbell (NSW),
Coach: Rob Boiston (QLD), Manager: Sam Bright (VIC).
22 and Under Women:
Eliza Barnett (QLD), Stephanie Beazleigh (SA), Tene Crafford (NSW/WA), Katrina Dixon (QLD), Chelsea Gan (QLD, Alanah Gregory (SA), Taylah Gregory (SA), Ella Harvey (QLD), Alyssa Humphries (VIC), Stacy Rockliff (QLD), Charlotte Voss (QLD), Kiara Wood (QLD)
Coach: Cindy Kross (WA), Manager: Tommy Holt (VIC)
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