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After playing a starring hand in a big win on Thursday afternoon, Sixers prospect Charlie Wakim has credited the Academy program with developing his game and providing a clear pathway to the professional ranks.

THE HOME GROUND: Find out what Wakim had to say on the Sixers’ website.

The Sixers Academy was selected from players predominantly within the Sixers region of Sydney Grade Cricket clubs, with players identified for their abilities based on performances in last season’s Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup.

The Academy looks to provide another development pathway opportunity where the most talented Grade cricketers can prepare themselves should a BBL opportunity come knocking.

Wakim’s opening partner Simon Keen (61* from 50 yesterday) was a member of the Academy last season, and earned a BBL cap after signing on as an injury replacement in BBL|04. The Sixers finished the Triforce Super20 League with two wins and a loss, with some players now shaping as potential Sixers supplementary list members for BBL|05.

Under the guidance of Academy Head Coach Gavan Twining, the Sixers Academy members underwent specific training for the Twenty20 format.

The Academy were put through their paces in a series of specialist training sessions run out of the Sixers home ground, the SCG, with some household names in Australian cricket nurturing the next generation of Sixers.

“I think the Academy work we’ve done with Gavan Twining has been outstanding. His enthusiasm and organisation he brings is world-class,” said Wakim.

“Working with guys like Michael Bevan and even Doug Bollinger, it’s real good. It’s given us a good pathway in to T20 cricket, especially in the professional stage.”

An unbeaten 69* off 48 balls saw Wakim finish his tournament on a high, as the energetic batsman sent former Australian bowler Shaun Tait to the boundary rope with ease.

“It was good to get away early against someone like Shaun Tait,” said Wakim.

“[He’s] very fast. Second ball he pinned me, and I didn’t think it could get much worse than that.”

Wakim’s unbeaten knock capped off a stellar tournament for the Sixers prospect, after hitting the winning runs twice in three games and playing a key role in the other.

STORY FILED FOR THE SYDNEY SIXERS

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