By Oliver Lees
Gisborne Cricket Club product Tom Rogers has been selected in a new academy program designed to give the state’s best young players a kickstart.
Cricket Victoria’s Stars Academy will bring together 13 of the best-performing players from the Victorian Premier Cricket competition.
The Stars Academy’s first outing will be a trip to Darwin in August, where the players will play T20 cricket as part of the Northern Territory’s Cricket 365 program.
The academy players will share the experience with a handful of Melbourne Stars players, including Nathan Coulter-Nile, Nick Larkin, Tom O’Connell and Clint Hinchliffe.
Rogers said he was looking forward to having the opportunity to develop his game in good company.
“It’s pretty surreal at the moment to have my name mentioned with all of these players, it’s very special,” Rogers said.
“At this stage I don’t know a huge amount about what will be involved but I’m just excited to learn from the experience. I’ll be chewing all of the other players’ ears off trying to get better.”
Melbourne Stars interim General Manager Blair Crouch said the program was tailored to assist player development.
“We’re really supportive of the academy concept and what it will mean for the identification and nurturing of talent over the short, medium and long term,” Crouch said.
“It serves a dual purpose from that perspective – giving players something to aspire to be part of and for us to help them realise the potential in their games.
“It’s a great chance for some of our guys to get white ball game time during winter and it also gives us a chance to have a look at other players who might be in the mix in the future.
“Beyond the academy plans, the work NT Cricket has done in recent years and to give southern states the opportunity for quality competition during winter is a fantastic outcome.”
Originally from Bacchus Marsh, Rogers played his junior cricket at Gisborne and Darley.
HE was selected to play in three successive Country National Championships between 2015-2018.
He earned his spot in Cricket Victoria’s academy after an impressive 2020-21 season for Ringwood Cricket Club.
Rogers averaged 52.67 with the bat, which included an unbeaten knock of 181 in round one against Northcote.
His stellar season also earned him a spot in the Kookaburra Men’s Premier Team of the Season.
“To be honest, the T20 format suits me because I’m a bit of a slogger,” he said.
“Where my game is at the moment, it’s definitely my favourite format.”
The T20 tournament will run from August 15 to August 27.