Matt Short named in elite national U18 squad

PROMISING young batsman Matt Short will be exposed to Cricket Australia’s national system for the first time next month after being picked in its special under-18 talent squad.

The 17-year-old East Ballarat cricketer is one of 26 players selected in the squad, which will visit Brisbane’s Centre of Excellence for training between February 10-14.

Short, who is now playing with Northcote in Melbourne’s Premier Cricket ranks, is set to undergo a range of tests, specialist skills training, psychological profiling, education sessions as well as matches while away.

He is also in the running for a spot in three Australian under-19 series this year and a place at the ICC Under-19 World Cup.

Short said he was notified early this week of his selection to attend the training camp.

“When I got the call on Monday night I was pretty shocked. I was just enjoying my cricket and now this has popped up, I’ll take it pretty seriously,” said Short, who made a half-century in a school cricket clash yesterday.

“As you get older, you just tend to be a bit more serious about what you are doing. Getting picked for this, you realise people actually think you’re good at the sport or have got a chance.”

While in Queensland, Short will also get the opportunity to spend time with the Australian team ahead of a Twenty20 international against the West Indies. He and the fellow squad members will attend a training session, watch the match at the Gabba and visit the team in the change rooms following the game.

The St Patrick’s College year 12 was one of the leading batsmen at the recent under-17 national titles – in which Victoria claimed the title – and led Central Highlands to the under-18 state championships final at the MCG with a ton in the semi-final last week.