On Thursday 30 April, NT Cricket launched the 2020 Darwin Statewide Super Cricket Academy program however the program will look different in its second year as the effects of COVID-19 continue to have an impact on all sports, at all levels.

Darwin and Districts Cricket Competition (DDCC) clubs were asked to nominate players who they believe have that ‘X Factor’ and who would benefit from the additional coaching and structure of the Academy. All nominated players will be invited to join a provisional academy group which will access the Statewide Super Cricket Academy program online, with the final Statewide Super Cricket Academy squad to be selected at a later date.

This allows players access to the types of activities and programs that players and parents could expect to see or encounter during a physical academy, including fitness testing, video information sessions and information around the benchmarks and work ethic required to be competitive at a national level.

NT Cricket’s Head of Pathways Neale Price said this initiative would give all cricketers nominated the opportunity to see what the Statewide Super Cricket Academy program is all about.

“It’s almost an extended trial format. Players will be exposed to the routine and requirements of the Statewide Super Cricket Academy and have a taste of what they could expect.

“There is also the opportunity for Megan White (NT Cricket’s Pathways Specialist) and I to see which players engage with the online program and invest in the group early on. Positive player attitudes will be taken into consideration when the group is narrowed down and the official Statewide Super Cricket Academy is announced,” he said.

The other change for the 2020 program is the male academy will be divided into an U16 and U23 group, alongside the U18 female academy, a move that Price said aligned with National Youth Championships and other pathway opportunities for NT players. 

“We learnt a great deal from the Statewide Super Cricket Academy programs conducted in both Darwin and Alice Springs in season 2019/20 and we are looking to take these learnings into 2020/21.

“Changing our age groups to U16 and U23 male and U18 female allows us to align with national programs run by Cricket Australia, as well as continue to develop the older, talented group whom have just come out of youth programs to go on and follow in the footsteps of players such as D’Arcy Short, Tom Andrews, Kane Richardson, Tabitha Saville, Jacob Dickman and Jake Weatherald.

“Importantly, the Statewide Super Cricket Academy will continue to work in a complementary nature with programs run within DDCC clubs to develop the next group of players aspiring to play at a higher level. We’ll also be  working really hard to ensure everyone within our cricket community clearly understands  the link between NT Cricket and club programs, along with the rationale behind the direction NT Cricket is taking with our Pathway system,” said Price.

Statewide Super continue to be a proud partner of the NT Cricket Player Pathway Program, with their investment going directly toward helping young cricketers across the Territory reach their potential.