ONE OF MANY: South Canterbury's Caleb Grace was one of 28 young cricket players to make a representative side this season, across the junior age groups. He is batting during a Southern Districts match, at Aorangi Oval, on Monday.

An exciting crop of junior cricket players has South Canterbury Cricket excited about the future of the game.

Cricket development officer Richard Davidson said it was one of the most promising groups of young players he had been involved with during his 10 years at South Canterbury Cricket.

“In my 10 years here, it would be one of the more successful junior [season] we have had, without, in all fairness, there being a big star.”

South Canterbury were represented by 28 players at age-group level, with them dominating Southern Districts teams, which are made-up of South and Mid-Canterbury players.

The South Canterbury year nine cricket team won their Canterbury Regional Tournament in Rangiora, while the under 16 team shared their trophy, after the final was rained out.

Adam Beck and Liam Cosgrove made their Canterbury age-group team, while Waimate’s Glen Drake, Timaru Boys’ High School’s (TBHS) Michael Hogan and Roncalli College’s Tom Pavletich made the Canterbury under-16 team which played Wellington, over four days, in the capital city. Davidson said the trio were in the mix for representative duty next year. “Glen never really got going [at representative level] but certainly had some respectable scores.

“Michael Hogan is going to be a class cricketer, with his wicket-keeping, and Tom Pavletich has progressed well playing senior cricket.

“Michael, in all fairness had a run-round with the senior representative side on Saturday, needs to be playing senior cricket obviously.

“Glen Drake will certainly be a part of the senior representative training squads next season.

“Whether he makes it or not will be another thing but getting him in that environment will certainly help.”

Lawrence Darling was a standout player for Waihi School in their run to the final of the national primary school cricket competition, but is heading to St Andrew’s College, in Christchurch to begin secondary school, but Davison said he was keen to ensure players in a similar position were still given the opportunity to come back and play cricket for South Canterbury age-group teams.

“The door is never closed.

“We want these players back, should they leave South Canterbury to go to school, we want these kids back.”

He said with TBHS set to gain some promising cricket players next year and Roncalli’s step-up to South Canterbury senior cricket, the future looked bright.

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