Youngster makes state junior cricket side

TALENTED Gladstone cricket junior Elise Hackett is busy packing her bags for Perth after her selection in the state under-17 girls team which will compete in the national championships starting next Tuesday.

The 14-year-old is the youngest member of the Queensland team.

She impressed state selectors with her performances at a fourday camp in Brisbane in September.

During the four days in the state capital, Elise trained with the Queensland squad, played a match against New Zealand and lined up for Wynnum-Manly in a first grade game alongside Julia Price, the Australian national wicket keeper.

"It was a great experience, to play alongside Julia who is one of my idols and mixing with the best players was fantastic,'' Hackett said.

Elise was notified of her state selection through the mail not long after returning home, but had to go through an arduous wait to get the news.

"I was pretty anxious because they let you know if your selected or not through the mail,'' she said.

"I didn't know until I opened the letter whether I was in or not and I was pleased to get in."

Not one to rest on her laurels, Elise has been busy working on her game in preparation for the championships.

"One area I have been working on is my batting and focusing on getting my foot to the pitch of the ball to improve my confidence,'' she said.

Elise is expected to play a key role with the ball as a left-arm orthodox spinner and is looking forward to getting the best state players out.

"I know it is going to be tough, but I want to bowl well and get some wickets,'' she said.

Queensland are the defending champions this year and Elise said they are confident of their chances.

"There is a bit of pressure there being in the defending champions team, but the girls cannot wait to get over there and start playing,'' she said.



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