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Strong contingent of Queensland young guns to take on PM's XI in Adelaide.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

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Strong contingent of Queensland young guns to take on PM’s XI in Adelaide 20/3/2003 A strong contingent of young Queensland indigenous cricketers has been selected to play against the Prime Ministers XI in the showcase one-day cricket match starting in Adelaide tomorrow.

With four players in the 12-man team and another three on the emergency list for the match - Queensland has provided more players than any other State.

As well as the six representatives in ATSIC Chairman Geoff Clark’s squad, Queensland has another two representatives in Prime Minister John Howard’s team - Queensland Bulls paceman Joe Dawes and young indigenous Cairns batsman and brilliant cover field, Barry Weare.

Leading the run chase for the ATSIC Chairman’s XI, is Queensland Bulls State opening batsman, Daniel Payne.

Payne, who has already played in two Pura Cup finals since his first class debut last season, will be hoping to make some amends for Queensland’s loss last weekend to NSW in the Pura Cup decider, with a big score.

He will relish the chance to make runs against NSW Blues Pura Cup winning paceman Doug Bollinger and his Bulls team mate, Joe Dawes, who are likely to take the new ball for the PM’s XI in Adelaide.

One of the most anticipated moments in the game will be the debut of the outstanding young Charleville batsman, Damian Watts.

Watts has taken his local cricket competition by storm this season.

He leads both the batting and bowling averages, has scored more than 600 runs - including three consecutive centuries - and taken 20 wickets.

Expected to lead the pace bowling assault on the PM’s side, which is being captained by Australian test batsman Justin Langer, was current Norths player and former Queensland Bulls paceman, Mitchell Johnson.

However Johnson, a Townsville boy who was “discovered” by Denis Lillee and has been clocked bowling in excess of 145 klms an hour, is a late withdrawal.

He has been replaced by the Gold Coast’s Glen Martin. Of Torres Strait Islander heritage, Martin, an all-rounder, is the first of his people ever to play cricket in England, having toured there in 2001 with ATSIC’s successful Indigenous Youth Cricket side.

Ipswich’s Jacob Sarra is rated the best Indigenous wicket keeper in the country, having won his third consecutive ATSIC XI cap.

Sarra, who also toured England with ATSIC’s Indigenous Youth team in 2001, returning as that team’s leading scorer and only century maker, bats in the mould of Australia’s Adam Gilchrist - fast and furious.

Toowoomba’s young off spinner, Kieran Gibbs, who currently lives and plays his cricket in Brisbane completes the Queensland contingent .

Rated highly by former test off-spinner Ashley Mallett, the teenage Gibbs is one of seven players named in the two squads who toured England with ATSIC’s Indigenous Youth cricket side, which was coached by Mallett.

They are up against a PM’s XI that boasts some of Australia’s finest young first class cricketers and current Australian Under 19 team, as well as Justin Langer and NSW wicket keeper-batsman Brad Haddin who have both represented Australia.

Tomorrow’s 50 over day-night fixture at Adelaide oval will create cricket history.

It is the first to be played outside of Canberra, and also the first to be played under lights.

Only the third time an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander XI has played the Prime Minister’s XI, the “series” currently stands at 1-1.

The ATSIC Chairman’s XI won the inaugural match in 2001 but the Prime Minister’s side got its revenge last year, after the Indigenous side was sent in first on a damp, unusually lively wicket.

But with the Adelaide oval wicket regarded as a good batting track and the talent available to both sides, the game is expected to provide top cricket action.

The game will be “web cast “live from 1.45 pm SA time on ATSIC’s website:

Media Contacts: Mark Heward , ATSIC Public Affairs in Brisbane, 0417724292 Eric Roberts, ATSIC Public Affairs in Adelaide, 0417 818 482