Greg Chappell throws support behind development team
THE merit of including young second-XI state players from across Australia in a team in this year's domestic Matador One-Day Cup competition has been the subject of plenty of discussion.
The concept was questioned from the opening match of the tournament when the CA XI side was handed a record 279-run loss by a talent-laden New South Wales outfit.
It fared little better in a nine-wicket thrashing against Victoria in game two, but bounced back to beat Tasmania in its third outing.
One man qualified to comment on the decision to include the team in the tournament is former Australian captain and now national talent manager Greg Chappell.
Despite the two big losses - when the team made just 59 and 79 - Chappell said giving the young players the chance to take on some of the best players in the world was a fantastic development opportunity that was all too rare in the modern era.
"In eras gone by, the next generation coming through had the opportunity to play against Test players in first-class cricket," he said.
"That doesn't happen in this modern era with the international players being away so much.
"So to have an opportunity like this is gold.
"Players don't get better in the nets.
"They get better out in the middle being challenged by players who are better than they are."