Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Cricket NSW: Blues squad confirmed for 23/24

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A veteran Test player, a global T20 star, a pair of Premier Cricket stalwarts and a prodigious teenage all-rounder headline the new talent in a 25-player NSW Blues squad for the 2023/24 summer.

The squad, that will be under the tutelage of newly appointed master coach Greg Shipperd, is made up of 20-full contract players and five players on a rookie contract.

A further eight NSW players – Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner and Adam Zampa – earned Cricket Australia contracts for 2023/24 and form part of the broader Blues group.

Leading the list of newcomers to the Blues’ list is seamer Jackson Bird. The 36-year-old returns to the state he grew up in after more than a decade in Tasmania and will be looking to continue his rise up the list of all time Sheffield Shield wicket-takers from his current position of ten with 350 scalps.

Bird is joined as a new addition to the list by Sydney Thunder star Chris Green, who made his First-Class debut last summer as an uncontracted player and went on to become NSW’s Sheffield Shield Player of the Year.
Blake Macdonald (St George CC), who forced his way into the Blues line up for the final Shield game of the season with irresistible 2nd XI form, has earned his first contract.

Ross Pawson has also earned his first NSW deal after several strong seasons at Premier and 2nd XI level. in 2022-23 Pawson took 60 wickets at 15.97 for Northern District.

Last summer’s Australian under 19 captain, Manly Warringah’s Joel Davies, has earned a two-year rookie contract, joining four rookies that were already contracted – Jack Nisbet, Will Salzmann, Lachlan Shaw and Hunar Verma. Davies, who made his BBL debut for Sydney Thunder last summer, joins his brother Ollie in the Blues group.

CNSW Chief of Cricket Performance Greg Mail said the changes to the squad recognised established and sustained success, consistent performance in Premier and Second Xl cricket and rising talent.

“With the additions of Jackson (Bird) and Chris (Green) we get some experience from guys with well documented credentials,” Mail said.

“Both Blake (Macdonald) and Ross (Pawson) have deserved their contracts through sheer weight of runs and wickets at Premier Cricket and Second Xl level. Their contracts show that when players consistently perform at that level, we will look at those performances positively.

“Joel Davies is a very talented young player with a high ceiling in the game. He is a genuine all-rounder who is also a brilliant fielder and leader and someone we are very excited to see develop further.”

The players that dropped off the contract list from last summer include Sean Abbott (earned CA contract), Trent Copeland (retired) and Mickey Edwards (moved to the UK). Lachlan Hearne was not offered a contract, while rookie Liam Doddrell also missed out with the number of contracts available reduced under the new MOU. Australian white-ball representative Daniel Sams has elected to explore global franchise cricket opportunities.

“Liam Doddrell was unlucky to miss out under the new rookie contracting structure and remains part of our plans in NSW going forward,” Mail said.

“We will look to provide Liam with opportunities to continue to develop his cricket.”

The Blues will return to training at Cricket Central next month.

NSW Blues 2023/24

Sean Abbott *Parramatta31RA fast / RH bat
Jackson BirdManly Warringah36RA fast-medium / RH bat
Pat Cummins *Penrith29RA fast / RH bat
Joel Davies ®Manly Warringah19LH bat / LA orthodox
Oliver DaviesManly Warringah22RH bat / RA off spin
Ben DwarshuisSutherland28LA fast / LH bat
Jack EdwardsManly Warringah23RA fast-medium / RH bat
Matt GilkesUNSW23LH bat / wicketkeeper
Chris GreenNorthern District29RA off spin / RH bat
Ryan HackneyParramatta23LH bat
Ryan HadleyManly Warringah24RA fast
Liam HatcherFairfield-Liverpool26RA fast
Josh Hazlewood *St George32RA fast
Moises HenriquesSt George36RH bat / RA medium
Baxter HoltEastern Suburbs23RH bat / wicketkeeper
Daniel HughesMosman34LH bat
Hayden KerrSydney University26RH bat / LA fast-medium
Nathan Lyon *Northern District35RA off spin / RH bat
Blake MacdonaldSt George25RH bat
Blake NikitarasSt George23LH bat
Jack Nisbet ®Sydney20RA fast-medium
Kurtis PattersonSt George30LH bat
Ross PawsonNorthern District28RA fast
Will Salzmann ®Campbelltown-Camden19RA fast-medium / RH bat
Jason SanghaRandwick Petersham23RH bat / RA leg spin
Tanveer SanghaCampbelltown-Camden21RH bat / RA leg spin
Lachlan Shaw ®Northern District20RH bat / wicketkeeper
Steve Smith *Sutherland33RH bat / RA leg spin
Mitchell Starc *Manly Warringah33LA fast / LH bat
Chris TremainUNSW31RA fast / RH bat
Hunar Verma ®Penrith21RA fast
David Warner *Randwick Petersham36LH bat
Adam Zampa *Club TBC31RA leg spin

* Cricket Australia contract
® Rookie contract

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