Cricket Australia has announced that the Under 19 Male and Under 19 Female National Championships will not be held this season, a decision which is based on health and player welfare advice.
The decision to cancel the 2020/21 Under 19 National Championships, both slated to begin in April, has been guided by the CA Bio-Security Policy Group and Australian Cricket Medical Group and is backed by all State and Territory Associations.
Due to possible border restrictions and the COVID landscape in Australia, CA could not be sure that players or staff participating in the Under 19 National Championships would not be placed in quarantine arrangements and/or be separated from family, school or work for extended periods of time.
With this in mind, CA will aim to provide more support to players and State and Territory Associations in lieu of the Under 19 National Championships, with an eye preparing our squads for the next Female and Male ICC Under 19 World Cups.
The 2021/22 Under 19 National Championships will return to their normal timeslot, with the next competition scheduled for December 2021.
CA National Talent and Pathways Manager, Graham Manou, said:
“This year has challenged us all on many fronts, but the health and wellbeing of our people has always been at the forefront of CA’s decision making.”
“We ultimately could not be certain that players and staff would not be separated from family, work or school due to possible border restrictions and the fluid nature of the COVID pandemic in Australia.
“This is particularly important for players in the Under 19 age group, many of whom would be undertaking year 12 studies.
“Despite the disappointment of the Under 19 National Championships not being held this season, we are very much looking forward to working with the State and Territory Associations to provide more assistance to the groups who were due to take part.
“I would like to thank the State and Territory Associations for their support and collaboration in making this decision and look forward to working with them to ensure we give this group of players all the help they need to take their careers forward.”
CA Female High Performance Manager, Shawn Flegler, said:
“We’ve got an incredibly exciting group of players coming through in the Under 19 age bracket, and despite the National Championships not going ahead this season, we’re identifying opportunities to provide a different kind of support to this group of players.”
“Our pathway system has been working hard to ensure we can still support our players and provide uninterrupted assistance to their development.
“We are of course disappointed to not be holding the Under 19 National Championships this year, but we are committed to minimising any negative impacts it could have on this group of players.
“Ultimately, the wellbeing of our staff and players was the basis of the decision to not go ahead with Championships, and although disappointing, CA and all the State and Territory bodies feel it’s a decision which is in the best interests of everyone involved.”