Cobargo’s Jade Allen, 14, has been picked as one of the most exciting talents coming out of the under 15s in the country.
Jade was named at number one in the Cricket Australia (CA) XI under 15s to take on the under 18s national championships to run in Canberra for 11 days from Monday.
While staying fairly humble about the selection, Jade did say it was exciting to play in the Australian gold gear for the contest.
Officials, meanwhile, said it was a huge honour.
“The players in this squad have been identified as some of the most exciting young cricketers in their age group from right around the country,” A spokesperson said.
“The average age is 14, but what the team lacks in age and experience will be made up for with talent and enthusiasm.”
Jade has previously been recognised for her right hand spin bowling, but said she had been working on her batting and will undoubtedly provide a versatile option for the CA XI squad.
This is no small selection, but a chance to see and play against some of the country’s best contenders and future women’s stars.
There will be Women’s Big Bash League players both taking part and spectating rounds of the competition, so Jade will get to strut her stuff against existing players on the national stage.
Proud dad Dave Allen said Jade was a credit to herself and was among an array of talented players coming out of the area, including Jessie Mudaliar, Janet King and Jemma Pollock.
“We’re producing really talented players down here,” Dave said.
“For how isolated we are, the standard of players across cricket, the rugby league – we’re definitely punching above our weight.”
He also heaped praise on volunteers like Martin Sims and John Dedman, who donate facilities and their time to helping young players develop.
“Everyone down here are just volunteers, but you’re going against the metro areas and to be doing this well I think just reflects very well on everyone down here.”
Jade was picked after a recent talent camp in Brisbane following her appearance at the nationals early this year as part of the NSW Metro team.
She has also been part of the Southern Zone development squad alongside the three other local girls, but also taken part in pathways programs including training with the Sydney Thunder Academy.
Dave said Jade loved the sport and the family were just doing all they could to support her goals.
“We don’t push her at all, but just do our best to facilitate her efforts,” he said.