Cricket Australia 2014 Indigenous Scholarship holders announced

Cricket Australia has announced four players who will receive a 2014 Indigenous Scholarship to help accelerate their cricket development. This year’s recipients, Lain Beckett (NSW), Ryan Lees (Tas), Samara Williams (WA) and Natalie Plane (VIC) will receive a range of coaching and support from CA’s specialist coaches at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.

The two male and two female players were selected by CA National Talent Manager Greg Chappell and National Cricket Centre Senior Manager Belinda Clark based on their performances in club cricket, the Imparja Cup and state and national competitions across the summer.

“Cricket Australia has invested heavily in developing participation and talent development programs specifically tailored to Indigenous Australians,” said CA’s Executive General Manager Game and Market Development, Andrew Ingleton. “These scholarships play an important role in helping to deliver our aim of having more Indigenous Australians playing cricket at an elite level.

“This year’s scholarship holders have been selected based on their potential to develop into elite cricketers and we feel it’s critical to provide opportunities such as these in the formative years of a young player’s career.

“High-performance opportunities like the scholarships continue the foundation set by our participation programs, creating a pathway that seeks to put Indigenous Australians in the Baggy Green.”

Lain Beckett (NSW)

A strong, athletic right-arm fast bowler, Beckett has represented the NSW Imparja Cup team for the past two seasons and this season was a member of the ACT U19s team that competed at the national championships in Hobart where he was one of the competition’s leading wicket-takers. Beckett’s improvement through the NSW/ACT under age system was recognised this year with him also receiving the opportunity to play for ACT in the Toyota Futures League competition.

Beckett is at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane this week (10-14 April) as part of the CA U18 Talent Camp.

Ryan Lees (TAS)

Tasmania’s Lees was the Hobart Hurricanes’ Community Rookie in BBL|03 and also holds a rookie contract with the Tasmania Tigers. A former Tasmania U19 representative, Lees is a right-arm fast bowler who took a big step in his career this season with 29 wickets at an average of 15.28 for New Town in the Hobart first grade competition. He also represented Tasmania in the Toyota Futures League competition, took 10 wickets at the 2014 Imparja Cup at an average of 10.25. Lees was a member of the 2013 & 14 Black Cap Squad and part of Cricket Australia’s Indigenous XI in 2013.

Lees will attend the National Performance Program at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane from 12-16 May. Lees will be joined by fellow Tasmania Tigers bowlers Clive Rose and Beau Webster.

Samara Williams (WA)

Hailing from a tennis background, 17-year-old right-arm bowler Williams caught the eye of WACA high performance staff and rewarded with an opportunity to take part in Western Fury Development program where she was provided with some additional coaching opportunities.

In 2013, Williams was a member of WA’s first ever women’s team in the Imparja Cup. Her performances in that tournament resulted in her being added to the Western Fury U18 Development Program. She was also one of three players awarded an inaugural Western Fury Scholarship, which she used to assist with travel from Albany to Perth for cricket and to also receive extra coaching.

Williams will attend the CA U18 Female Talent Camp at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane from September 19 -22.


Natalie Plane (VIC)

Plane, 17, is a Victoria women’s U18 representative who plays for Melbourne Cricket Club in the Melbourne grade competition. A right-arm fast bowler in the early stages of her cricket career, Plain is seen as having future leadership potential. Selectors feel that with some additional coaching and support at the National Cricket Centre she has the potential to develop into a talented cricketer.

Plane will attend the CA U18 Female Talent Camp at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane from September 19-22.

2014 Indigenous Scholarship Holders Biographies:


Lain Beckett

Scholarship: U18 Talent Camp

When: April 10-14

Age: 10/11/1995 (18yrs)

Youth Squads: ACT U19, CA U18 talent camp

Club: Southern Zone (Sutherland/Illawarra Cricket Club)

State: New South Wales (played for ACT in the Futures League)

Ryan Lees

Scholarship: National Performance Program

When: May 12-16

Age: 16/02/1994 (20yrs)

Town: New Town Cricket Club

State: Tasmania


Samara Williams

Scholarship: U18 Female Talent Camp

Age: 13/05/1997 (17yrs)

Town: Albany

Club: Albany Warriors

State: Western Australia


Natalie Plain

Scholarship: U18 Female Talent Camp

Age: 4/8/1996 (17yrs)

Club: Melbourne Cricket Club

State: Victoria

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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