Appreciation from many of us cricket fans to the Australian Cricketers’ Association for sharing a great list of the state contracts for this coming summer.
The announcements of contracts follow the news of the national mens’ contracts being finalised, and see some big moves – particularly from New South Wales.
Highlights (courtesy of the Australian Cricketers’ Association) are:
New South Wales:
“The Blues have lost a number of big names, including Usman Khawaja and Nathan Hauritz to Queensland, Phil Hughes to South Australia, and Simon Katich and Phil Jaques to retirement from Australian first-class cricket…Brett Lee was selfless in his decision to decline a NSW contract renewal, leaving his spot open for a younger player. Lee is expected to play enough games to receive a CA contract through the upgrade system. New South Wales’ other departures include Timm van der Gugten (Tasmania), Beau Casson (retired last season) and Burt Cockley, who is on the comeback trail after back and knee injuries in recent seasons.”
Usman Khawaja and Nathan Hauritz from NSW, “former Western Australian batsman Luke Pomersbach”, while “‘keeper-batsman Ben Dunk has signed with Tasmania.”
In: Johan Botha (South Africa) and NSW and Australian batsman Philip Hughes. Aiden Blizzard heads to Tasmania.
Keeper Tom Triffitt has moved to Western Australia; Aiden Blizzard comes from SA (and prior to that, Victoria). Ben Dunk comes down from Queensland.
“Victoria have backed the bulk of its list from 2011-2012 to deliver this season, making few changes after narrowly missing out on a Sheffield Shield final berth. Peter Handscomb and Scott Boland are the only inclusions to the senior list after earning elevations from the Rookie list.”
Luke Ronchi moved to New Zealand, replaced by Tom Triffitt.
Queensland defeated Tasmania at the Gabba by three wickets to win the Sheffield Shield.
|New South Wales||12||10||1||4||5||0||0.773|
Ed Cowan (948 runs at 59.25) was the season’s highest run scorer, while fellow Tasmanian Jackson Bird (53 wickets at 16) topped the bowling.
WA’s Liam Davis scored the best score of 303* v NSW at the WACA in February, while Alister McDermott with 7/24 versus WA in February at the Gabba had the best individual bowling effort.
This season – from the Armchair
The moves from New South Wales of Khawaja to Queensland and Hughes to South Australia are significant. Simon Katich and Phil Jacques have retired, and this leaves the Blues with a great deal of batting strength gone. With their internationals away, this could prove to be a tough season for New South Wales.
Queensland are only strengthened by Khawaja, Nathan Hauritz and a (hopefully) settled Luke Pomersbach will add further depth to the reigning champs. Ben Dunk going is a loss. Alister McDermott will press for further national honours. It’s an impressive list for the Queenslanders and they look very good on paper.
South Australia will be bolstered by a certain P.Hughes who has plenty to gain and much (still) to prove his critics. They need some strong performances to settle, but against the likes of the Marsh brothers in WA, Cowan, Bailey and co in Tasmania and an even stronger Queensland…. it’s a tough call to see them challenging for a spot in the final.
Tasmania’s fortunes could depend on how often their players like Cowan, Bailey and James Faulkner are on national duties. The lads from the south look the part; it’s a good, strong line-up and Jackson Bird is a player to watch. They could reasonably be expected to feature in the final.
Having just missed out on the final last season, Victoria have been sensible and upgraded the contract of Peter Handscomb. Ryan Carters can take his game further this season with Matthew Wade under national colours, and with blokes like Rogers and Quiney, there is a strong batting line-up.
Western Australia will see the potential emergence this season (if he wants a ticket to the Ashes) of Mitch Marsh. This is the year for blokes like him and McDermott. Liam Davis is a fine player who came third in runs scored last season and Shaun Marsh also has a point to prove. Tom Triffitt from Tasmania is a good gain. Travis Birt, too, is no slouch.
Summary / Armchair call:
NSW and SA to anchor the table. Victoria and Tasmania will compete but do they have the depth if some of their senior players are out nationally? The test team ins and outs will impact here – if D.Hussey gets a test call-up…. or a George Bailey goes into the test team?…. That said, I like the way Tasmania have built and the way they go about their cricket. I also am impressed with Liam Davis and as noted above, if ever there was a season for blokes like Mitch Marsh and McDermott to shake it up, this is it.
Still, it’s hard not to go past Queensland. Khawaja adds depth and when you go down their list, it’s hard to see them being brutally flogged too often. But, in a year when the Victorian batting will (MUST!) take it up a notch my call from the sofa is…..Queensland / Victoria final. Tasmania and Western Australia, NSW and South Australia.
….And a final note:
Thank you Simon Katich. You did no wrong.