Five make elite squad

FIVE young Central North Zone cricketers had the disappointment of missing out on a Kookaburra Cup Final by just a few runs washed away by being named in a first ever Kookaburra Cup Merit Squad.

Narrabri’s Coby Cornish, Muswellbrook’s Jarrod Watts, Scone’s Tom Brooks, Moree’s Paddy Montgomery and Tamworth’s Jye Paterson have been named in an elite merit side named by Country Cricket NSW.

They implemented and selected the 14-player squad following the recent Kookaburra Cup in Newcastle, reported country programs manager, Bruce Whitehouse.

“This allows us to start tracking the process of these lads as they progress with their cricket,” Whitehouse said.

“These players will be presented with a merit cap as recognition of their efforts.”

He said performances at the Kookaburra Cup, won by Newcastle against Western, were paramount to selection. Chris Paterson was one three CNZ coaches managing the CNZ side at the Kookaburra Cup (Country Under 14 Cricket Championship) and was delighted with the selection of the five CNZ players as well as their performances at Newcastle during the recent Kookaburra Cup.

“They were unlucky to miss out on the final by seven runs,”  Paterson said.

“They were so close to making that final.

“To have the five boys named in this new merit squad is good for the young boys and great for the zone.”

Central North Zone chairman, Terry Psarakis, currently watching three CNZ juniors play in the Australian Under 17 Championships in Adelaide, was also delighted by the merit 

selections.

“Very pleasing for everyone,” Psarakis said.

“Obviously their performances at the Kookaburra were impressive. But Country Cricket NSW is very conscious of identifying good players early and working with them.

“Its great for CNZ to have these five named, but the big thing for the five is they are now in the system and that might make them work even harder on their games.

“It definitely is a big coup for us – to have five in the merit squad when Newcastle won it and four from Western who were beaten in the final.”

o Meanwhile James Psarakis, Max Houlahan and Sam Yabsley faced off on the field in Adelaide yesterday when Psarakis’ NSW team played a Queensland side containing Yabsley and Houlahan.

Houlahan, from Moree, and Yabsley, originally from Tamworth, have been part of the Queensland side at the championships.

Both also played for the South Tamworth club.

 Psarakis is currently a key first grade player for South Tamworth and his national championships improved earlier this week when he scored a half century in the win over Western 

Australia.

NSW must win the two-day game against Queensland as home side South Australia could pip them with a win over ACT.

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