Three young stars vying to make their debuts for New South Wales

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Hannah Darlington in action for Sydney Thunder. © Getty Images

New South Wales have announced three potential debutantes in their squad for the next round of the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL). The defending champions are set to take on Tasmania and Western Australia at North Sydney Oval on Tuesday (February 4) and Thursday (February 6) respectively.

The uncapped trio of Hannah Darlington, Maddy Darke and Anika Learoyd are the three teenagers who have earned call-ups to the squad.

Darlington was awarded with the 'Young Gun of the Year' in the first-ever standalone Women's Big Bash League in 2019. She played for Sydney Thunder and was consistently among the wickets. She took 16 wickets for Thunder and often bailed the team out of crunch situations with the bat. Her allround efforts and great composure at the age of 16 was lauded by many.

Learoyd was appreciated for her batting efforts in the Under-18 National Championships, where she finished as the leading run-scorer with 384 runs at an average of 42.67. Darke was in the squad when New South Wales defeated Queensland and Australian Capital Territory in January but didn't get a chance to play.

ALSO READ: Hannah Darlington named 'Young Gun of the Year'

Lisa Griffith, the allrounder, will continue to lead New South in the upcoming matches in the absence of Alyssa Healy.

Dominic Thornely, head coach of New South Wales, sounded optimistic about three teenagers.

“We have continued to improve with a successful trip to Canberra last week and what pleases us most is the team have agreed we are still to complete the perfect game,” Thornely said.

“It’s always encouraging that we are winning matches whilst still not satisfied with our performances. Our youth continues to play important roles and the energy around practice this week has indicated the players are ready to take on Tasmania and Western Australia at North Sydney Oval.”

ALSO READ: Dominic Thornely named NSW head coach

Thornely also was impressed with how the squad is shaping up ahead of the next round of matches.

“We have a few new faces in our squad this week, and as it has been this season, it’s exciting to see some potential debutantes join the Breakers family,” Thornely explained.

“The belief of our squad is most pleasing with young players coming in and performing whilst our regular players are making solid contributions with bat and ball. The team are learning along the way whilst seeking improvement, that is what pleases us the most at present.”

If New South Wales emerge victorious in both games, they could potentially host the final of the WNCL.  They currently sit atop the points table with Western Australia trailing  them by just one point. On the other hand Tasmania are currently fifth on the table.

Squad: Lisa Griffith (c), Anika Learoyd, Hannah Darlington, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Maddy Darke, Naomi Stalenberg, Phoebe Litchfield, Rachel Trenaman,Rene Farrell, Sarah Aley, Saskia Horley, Stella Campbell, Tahlia Wilson.