Hampshire Cricket have confirmed a partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) that will see six of Australia’s most talented young cricketers attend the Ageas Bowl International Cricket Academy (ABICA).

ABICA has been established in order to maximise the use of the fantastic facilities and staff at the Ageas Bowl and to provide development services to high-potential cricketers from around the world.

English players have, for many years, been sent to Australia, South Africa and India as part of their overall development and ABICA offers a structured approach to this process during the English summer.

As part of the program the Australian players will compete for six different club teams in the Southern Electric Premier League for the duration of the English domestic cricket season.

This landmark partnership will provide the selected players with the opportunity to train and play in elite state-of-the-art facilities in England during Australia’s domestic off-season. The players will have access to world-class coaching and sports science and medical staff.

The ABICA is based at the Ageas Bowl which boasts first-class training facilities and is used by Hampshire Cricket to identify and nurture talented young players.

Rod Bransgrove is looking forward to Hampshire Cricket playing a key role in the development of the selected players.

“The Ageas Bowl International Cricket Academy (ABICA) commences operations in April of this year and we are delighted that Cricket Australia (CA) is sending six high-performing young players to the Academy in its inaugural year,” he said.

“This shows a high level of confidence and faith in the ABICA facilities and staff and we look forward to working with CA in accelerating the development of these talented young cricketers.”

CA’s Executive General Manager Team Performance Pat Howard said the partnership would provide a unique development opportunity for some of Australia’s most talented cricketers.

“CA is very excited about this partnership and opportunity for our very best young players,” Howard said.

“The opportunity to experience cricket in a different country will grow them as players and as people. For those chosen it will be an important part of their development."

The National Selection Panel (NSP) are currently finalising the AIS squad and will select six of these players to take up the opportunity with Hampshire Cricket.

A final announcement regarding the selected players is expected next week.