Two Central Queensland cricket prodigies were primed and ready to dominate the State Under-16 Male Challenge before COVID-19 restrictions struck.
Two Central Queensland cricket prodigies were primed and ready to dominate the State Under-16 Male Challenge before COVID-19 restrictions struck.

CQ young guns miss out as cricket tournament cancelled

Two Central Queensland junior cricket stars will have to wait to dominate the State Under-16 Male Challenge after the tournament was suspended due to COVID-19.

Josh Welsh and Jack Hansen were primed to enter a training camp with their teammates on the Sunshine Coast in preparation for the tournament’s commencement next week.

But on Friday, those plans were turned on their head following a COVID-19 development in south-east Queensland which forcing a three-day mandatory lockdown for the Greater Brisbane area.

The tournament, which was to be held at the Caloundra Cricket Club, would have featured 44 of the top players from across the state including Cairns and the Gold Coast.

CQ’s Josh Welsh was set to captain the side, Team Four Flash, with coach and talent specialist Bruce Deen having seen a lot of the Rockhampton young gun.

“Josh is a top-order batsman and captain of that team, he would have been the number one batsman and probably fourth in the batting order,” Mr Deen said.

“He could have bowled - he is a handy right arm medium-paced bowler.”

Mr Deen said the reason Josh was nominated as captain was because he understood the game better than most players his age.

“He is quite a mature lad for his age and has got the respect of the other players around him in his team,” he said.

“He is a good package.”

Mr Deen said he was ready to unleash Jack Hansen, the boy from Barcaldine, into the bowling attack which would have put the tournament on notice.

“He would have been bowling some right arm off-spin and be one of our bowling weapons,” he said.

Mr Deen said one win would have been a good result at the tournament, but an overall competitive nature would have also been positive.

“If they can win one game that would be good but just to be competitive is the second thing,” he said.
“There are some pretty talented boys in that metro area that they would have been coming up again, but if they could have won a game that would have been really good.”

With the team only having been picked the week before Christmas, Mr Deen said preparation was difficult before the coronavirus interruption.

Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson provided a statement on the tournament on Friday.

“The State Under-16 Male Challenge, scheduled to begin on Monday 11th on the Sunshine Coast, will be postponed,” Mr Svenson said.

“Unfortunately, Queensland Country’s scheduled involvement in a trilateral representative series in Canberra next week has been cancelled.

“Queensland Cricket will continue to monitor the situation closely. Player and staff safety is a key priority.”



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