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Australia Under 17 National Championships set to start on Sunshine Coast

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Some of Australia’s most exciting junior male cricketers will compete at the 2017 Cricket Australia Under 17 National Championships, which begin in the Sunshine Coast on Monday.

The tournament will run from September 25 until October 5, with the first four rounds of matches played on the Sunshine Coast, followed by the final four rounds being played in Brisbane.

Ten teams will compete for the title, including reigning champions NSW Metro and host state Queensland, plus ACT/NSW Country, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, VIC Country, VIC Metro, Western Australia and a CA XI selected following last summer’s SSA 15 & Under National Championship.

Cricket Australia Pathways Manager, Graham Manou, said, “The Under 17 National Championships are a fundamental part of the Australian Cricket Pathway,” Manou said.

“They provide an invaluable opportunity for players to compete against the best in the country in their age group, on superb facilities in the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. It also allows these players the opportunity to display their skills in front of National Talent Manager, Greg Chappell, and the State and Territory Talent Managers.

“There are an incredible amount of opportunities now for Australia’s young cricketers. Five players from last year’s Under 17 National Championships now have state rookie contracts, which serves to show how close some of these players are to becoming professional cricketers.

“We hope this is the start of a successful cricketing journey for all of these players. Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner both played at these championships in their junior careers, as have so many other Australian stars, both past and present.”

Previous winners of the Player of the Tournament award include Victoria's James Pattinson and Travis Dean, plus South Australia's Callum Ferguson and Tom Cooper - while a number of future stars emerged at last year’s tournament.

Victorian trio Zak Evans, Mitch Perry and Will Sutherland all picked up rookie state contracts following standout performances at last summer’s championships, as did South Australia spinner Lloyd Pope.

New South Wales batsman Jason Sangha was a NSW Blues rookie while competing at last year’s Championships, and is now a second-year rookie player.

All five were selected for Australia Under 19s in early 2017, with Sangha and Sutherland representing the CA XI against Pakistan in a tour game in January, and Sangha also lining up for the Prime Minister’s XI against Sri Lanka alongside the likes of Adam Voges and Joe Burns.

The tournament final on October 5 will again be live-streamed and free to watch via www.cricket.com.au, played at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field.