Selectors opt for youth

Eight players under 25 have been named as part of the Australia A squad for the Top End Series against 'A' teams from New Zealand, India and Pakistan.

South Australia's youth policy has been acknowledged as a success with four players selected, including spin duo Cullen Bailey and Dan Cullen.

Mark Cosgrove, who scored a half-century in his one-day international debut in Bangladesh last month, also received a call-up, while Tasmanian batsman Travis Birt was rewarded for an outstanding domestic season.

Nevertheless the side has plenty of international experience with recent Test players Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Shaun Tait and Phil Jaques also included, as well all-rounder James Hopes.

Recently appointed chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said while the squad was selected primarily as Australia's second best team, it was also a chance to develop some of the country's brightest young players.

"We see the Top End Series as very important tournament for young, emerging talent in Australia and in particular for those pushing for Australian selection in the upcoming Champions Trophy, the Ashes and the World Cup," Hilditch said.

"We have selected players with some real experience at international level in Haddin, Hodge, Watson and Hopes, whilst we also have some very exciting young players who have experience with the Australian team."

The side will play a series of one-day, four-day and Twenty20 matches in Cairns and Darwin, beginning in July.

The full Australia A squad:

Cullen Bailey (SA), Travis Birt (Tas), Mark Cosgrove (SA) Daniel Cullen (SA), Brett Dorey (WA), Brad Haddin (c) (NSW), Ben Hilfenhaus (Tas), Brad Hodge (vc) (Vic), James Hopes (Qld), Phil Jaques (NSW), Mitchell Johnson (Qld), Chris Rogers (WA), Shaun Tait (SA), Shane Watson (Qld)

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