Queensland Cricket has announced its men's and women's squads for the upcoming National Indigenous Cricket Championships, which are set to be held in Alice Springs later this month.
The sides, selected from various initiatives implemented by Queensland Cricket throughout the year include players identified through premier and community cricket competitions, the Eddie Gilbert Talent Identification program, and the newly introduced Men's State Indigenous Challenge.
Current Brisbane Road and Brisbane Heat allrounder, Mikayla Hinkley headlines the 14-player women's squad which will be looking to defend their 2023 title, with the allrounder's participation in the tournament contingent on the outcome of the Fire's WNCL campaign.
Joining Hinkley are Christina Coulson, Clodagh Ryall and Grace Abdy, the trio returning to Alice Springs in Queensland maroon after touring with the National Women's Indigenous squad in Vanuatu last year.
Queensland's most capped NICC female player, Courtney Fewquandie has also been selected in the squad, with former Queensland men's players Ashley Renouf and Bradley Stout assuming coaching responsibilities of the side.
Queensland Cricket's First Nations Project Officer, Kieren Gibbs, said he is excited about this year's NICC campaign, citing a mixture of youth and experience within both the women's and men's program.
"We're currently experiencing a changing of the guard within the programs with a few players moving on, and some younger players coming in, so it's exciting to see if this will freshen up the sides," Mr Gibbs said.
Queensland's men's side will again look to Valley District Cricket Club's Dylan McLachlan after the right hander lead the the side with the bat at last year's Championships with 186 runs at 62.00.
He is joined by Norths District Cricket Club's Cruz Baker (180 runs at 30.00 at last year's NICC), with Toombul District Cricket Club's Jake Coolwell bringing years of experience in the Red Centre's conditions to the side.
Michael Prien will coach the men's side, with Dylan Blackman appointed his assistant.
Queensland Cricket's Head of Operations, Growth & Engagement, John Butterworth said Queensland's men's Indigenous cricket program was strengthened by a new initiative implemented last year.
"A big step in the expansion of the Indigenous pathway this season was the Michael Mainhardt State Indigenous Challenge, which was sponsored by Taverners Queensland, and saw a North Queensland side play against a South Queensland side as a feeder into the State team," Mr Butterworth said.
The eighth National Indigenous Cricket Championships will be held from February 22-27 at venues around Alice Springs.
Queensland Indigenous squad - women
Carys Underwood – Sunshine Coast Cricket Club
Christina Coulson – Valley District Cricket Club
Clodagh Ryall – Wynnum Manly District Cricket Club
Courtney Fewquandie – Valley District Cricket Club
Emily Wilson – Sandgate-Redlciffe District Cricket Club
Grace Abdy – Valley District Cricket Club
Grace Warson – Caboolture Cricket Club
Kameryn Bray – Wynnum Manly Cricket Club
Lucy Neumann – Gold Coast District Cricket Club
Mikayla Hinkley – Valley District Cricket Club
Shareene McGuinness – Valley District Cricket Club
Tamika Hansen – Norths Cairns Cricket Club
Temeika Wilson – Toombul District Cricket Club
Tracee Williamson – Sarina Cricket Club
Coach - Ashley Renouf
Assistant Coach - Bradley Stout
Manager - Tamika Hansen
Queensland Indigenous squad - men
Ashley White – Norths Cairns Cricket Club
Banjo Seaniger – Metropolitan Easts Toowoomba Cricket Club
Cruz Baker – Norths District Cricket Club
Daley Martin – Norths District Cricket Club
Dylan McLachlan - Valley District Cricket Club
Ethan Du Payne – Valley District Cricket Club
Jaecob Prien – Western Suburbs Townsville Cricket Club
Jake Coolwell -Toombul District Cricket Club
Jake Turner - Norths District Cricket Club
Jamieson Allen – Clermont Bulls Cricket Club
Kodi Gilbert – Bracken Ridge Cricket Club
Lachlan Mark – Toombul District Cricket Club
Noah Vojinov – South Brisbane District Cricket Club
Steve Roser – Gracemere Cricket Club
Coach - Micheal Prien
Assistant Coach - Dylan Blackman
Manager - Adrian Coolwell