Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Irvine in pursuit of Victorian selection

Katandra's Hope Irvine will line up for Victoria Country next month as she vies for selection in the Victorian for the national championships.

GEORGINA CAHILL August 29, 2014 3:05am

Hope Irvine is striving for selection in the Victorian team for the under-18 national championships.

Hope Irvine is used to matching it with the boys at Katandra Cricket Club.

But next month the 16-year-old will match it with the best young female cricketers in Victoria.

For the sixth year in a row, Irvine will showcase her skills in the Victoria Country squad, with the hope of being selected to represent Victoria at the under-18 national championships next year.

The squad will take to the Bundalaguah turf next month to compete against Victoria Metro in a multi-format series consisting three Twenty20 games and a 50-over match.

The Year 11 Notre Dame College student made the Victorian team last year and said she was excited about the prospect of doing it again.

‘‘It’s a really good program, we get access to heaps and heaps of coaches,’’ Irvine said.

‘‘We’ve had access to Cath Fitzpatrick, who’s the Australian women’s coach, Barry Neivandt, who’s the Vic Spirit coach, as well as Jess Cameron, who is in the Australian squad.’’

Irvine plays for Plenty Valley Cricket Club in the Victorian Women’s Cricket Association premier competition and makes the trip to Melbourne every Sunday to play.

At 16, Irvine is one of the youngest players in the competition.

‘‘I’m the youngest full-time player, but there’s another girl who’s just a little younger than me,’’ she said.

While cricket takes up her Sundays, Irvine is busy playing netball on Saturdays.

She mainly plays wing defence for Katandra’s A-grade side in the Picola District Netball League south-east competition.

But for Irvine, cricket is definitely the path she wants to take.

‘‘My main goal first of all is to get a Vic Spirit contract in the next few years, that would be amazing,’’ she said.

‘‘In the long term I’d love to play for Australia.’’

A preliminary Victorian squad will be selected in October with the under-18 national championships to be held in Ballarat from January 14 to 20.

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