Tasmanian trio named in national indigenous squad

Ryan Lees

Ryan Lees

FORMER Launceston cricketer Ryan Lees was one of three Tasmanian cricketers named yesterday in the national indigenous squad.

A Tasmanian Tigers rookie now playing for Southern club New Town, Lees was joined by Commonwealth Bank High Performance squad members Brad Smith and Zac Chapman.

The squad consists of the country’s most talented Indigenous cricketers, which will tour Darwin for a Top End Cricket Carnival next month.

Identified by Cricket Australia’s national talent manager Greg Chappell and National Indigenous Development Squad head coach Anthony Judd, the team will play a combination of 50-over and Twenty20 matches against sides representing ICC East Asia Pacific, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory from September 13-19, in Darwin.

Chappell said the players were selected based on their performances at the national all-Indigenous tournament, the Imparja Cup, as well as club cricket and state competitions last summer.

Lees, who was also a member of the development squad last year said the Top End Cricket Carnival was one of the best experiences he has had.

‘‘I took a lot out of the carnival last year,’’ he said.

‘‘We played against Papua New Guinea, East Asia and the Australian Defence Force and I learnt a lot about the game and the different cultures of the people involved.’’

Lees was named in the best XI, the Black Caps, at this year’s Imparja Cup tournament and says he’s overwhelmed that he’s been identified as an up-and-coming talent by Chappell.

‘‘Greg Chappell is such a great man of cricket and to be even known by name is pretty amazing.’’

Cricket Tasmania high performance coach Darren McNees says he was not surprised by selection of the three Tasmanians.

‘‘Ryan is a fantastic talent as are Zac and Brad,’’ he said.

‘‘Zac had a great under-19 national carnival for Tasmania and Brad had very good 2013-14 season for Lindisfarne.’’

‘‘Along with Ryan, are both worthy inclusions in the squad.’’

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