ULLADULLA'S Matthew Gilkes and eight other NSW players will continue to develop their games over the winter in the Northern Territory after they were unveiled as part of Northern Territory Cricket's innovative new program Cricket 365.
Cricket 365 will bring the best emerging players from around Australia to Darwin and Palmerston for 10 weeks each dry season, enabling the next generation of cricketing superstars to play cricket year-round without having to leave Australian shores.
NT Cricket has partnered with Cricket Australia and state cricket associations around the country in a move that will see 30 of the best young cricketers from across Australia converge on the Top End from June through to August.
Joining Gilkes up north will be fellow NSW players Kurtis Patterson, Jack and Mickey Edwards, Ryan Hackney, Jason Sangha, Lachlan Hearne, Chris Tremain and Hayden Kerr.
CNSW head of male cricket, Michael Klinger, said Cricket 365 presented young players with ongoing developmental opportunities.
"Cricket 365 will give some of our best young players a chance to continue playing cricket throughout the winter months and in doing so give them some experience in the rigours of playing cricket year-round," Klinger said.
"All of these guys have demonstrated a desire to continue to improve their games and we are looking forward to them coming back to our setup later in the year having grown as players and young men."
Darwin and Palmerston are the ideal locations in the north to play during the winter months in Australia with perfect weather conditions, first-class standard venues and a winter club cricket ecosystem.
The Cricket 365 program, running for 10 weeks from June 20 until August 27, consists of three men's competitions:
- TIO Men's Strike League One Day Series - June 20 to July 25.
- Top End Series - which will see the Northern Territory men's NT Strike team take on a Cricket Australia XI in a best of three one day match series from August 1 to 8.
- TIO Men's Strike League T20 Tournament - August 15 to 27.
In addition to the men's program, the existing TIO Junior Strike League (July 5-9) and TIO Women's Strike League (July 25-30) also form part of the new Cricket 365 program.
The City Cyclones, Desert Blaze, Northern Tide and Southern Storm will each take part in the TIO Men's Strike League One Day Series and T20 Tournament, with these four teams set to be joined by invitational teams in the T20 Tournament during August.