The five new intakes of the Elite International Cricket Academy, based at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl, have been announced ahead of the 2014 season.
Fast-bowlers Nick Buchanan and Cameron Valente, batsmen Damien Mortimer and Jaron Morgan and wicketkeeper Ben McDermott will all be looking to continue the success of the Cricket Australia programme last year under its previous name (Ageas Bowl International Cricket Academy).
Spin bowler Ashton Agar hit the headlines last season after receiving a shock call-up to the Australia side for their First Ashes Test Match against England.
As part of the programme, the left-armer was playing for Thames Valley Premier League side Henley CC before he went on to hit the highest Test innings ever by a number 11 on day two of the match at Trent Bridge.
Elite International Cricket Academy Manager Richard Browning said: “The calibre of the five players joining our Gold Summer Development Programme is testament to the provision on offer here at The Ageas Bowl and we look forward to developing the next generation of Australian Test cricketers.”
In the same format to last year, the five Australians have been allocated league Clubs ahead of the 2014 season.
22-year old right-arm seamer Nick Buchanan will spend the summer playing his cricket on the Isle of Wight with Southern Electric Premier League (SEPL) side Ventnor CC. Nick is the son of former Australia Coach John Buchanan and has captained Queensland at Under 17 level.
Batsman Damien Mortimer, played in five of Australia’s six matches in the recent Under 19’s World Cup and hit a top-score of 43 against Afghanistan. The right-hander will also be featuring in the SEPL for Lymington CC.
Fast-bowler Cameron Valente also featured in the Under 19’s World Cup for Australia, taking 2-43 against England in the third-place playoff and averaging 22 with the ball in his three matches. The 19-year old will be turning out for Totton & Eling CC this season.
Brisbane Heat Wicketkeeper Ben McDermott played in all of Australia’s Under 19 World Cup matches and hit an unbeaten 56 against England in their final game of the tournament.
The 19-year old will be the only player not featuring in the SEPL with Henley CC taking his services for the 2014 season.
Jaron Morgan, 18, finished the Under 19’s World Cup as the third-highest runs-scorer for Australia. The left-handed batsman has been allocated SEPL side Bashley (Rydal) CC for 2014.