Cutting, Lynn Set For Returns
The my FootDr Queensland Bulls will welcome back Ben Cutting for next week’s must-win Sheffield Shield clash with the Tasmanian Tigers at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
Cutting comes into the Bulls squad in place of injured quick Mark Steketee (side strain) who is set to miss the remainder of the season.
The Bulls slipped to fifth spot after losing to South Australia on the final day in Adelaide on Monday but can still make the Final later this month if they can defeat the sixth-placed Tigers from Tuesday.
There are two rounds of the Shield competition remaining, with the Bulls taking on current leaders Victoria at Allan Border Field from 16 March in the last regular season game.
The Bulls travel to Hobart on Sunday to prepare for the match.
Queensland defeated Tasmania outright last month at the Gabba although the Tigers drew with NSW last week in Wollongong.
Former Test batsman Joe Burns, the second leading runs-scorer in the Sheffield Shield, will lead Queensland for the second time in the absence of injured wicket-keeper Chris Hartley.
Bulls coach Phil Jaques has set the team the challenge of winning both matches to make the Final.
“We’ve been competitive but you could argue we haven’t performed at our best, so now is our chance to lift our efforts and show that we can challenge for a spot in the Final,’’ he said.
“Neither Tasmania nor Victoria will be easy, but if we are serious about converting the hard work we have put in as a squad, then these two games represent a golden opportunity to turn that commitment into wins.”
“It is such a tight competition that we are well and truly in the mix with 16 points potentially up for grabs. We’ve got plenty of players contributing in the line-up so we should be approaching next week with confidence,” Jaques said.
Victoria go into the second-last round with 44.67 points, more than five points clear of South Australia (39.1) in second, while WA (35.96), New South Wales (34.15) and Queensland (32.49) are still within touching distance.
The Bulls will further bolster their depth next week when Chris Lynn and Michael Neser make their returns from injury for the Queensland Academy of Sport in the Toyota Futures League 2nd XI match against the ACT Comets at Allan Border Field.
The QAS are on top of the Futures League ladder coming into their match and will welcome the inclusion of Brisbane Heat batting star Lynn following his recovery from a neck issue that forced him out of Australia’s ODI and T20I campaigns last month.
Neser has also recovered from an ankle strain and will look to build-up his bowling workloads to push for consideration for the Bushrangers match.
Also named in the QAS squad is University of Queensland left-armer Scott Walter, the leading wicket-taker in the my FootDr Premier Cricket competition with 60 dismissals at 13.50 in all formats this summer.
Queensland v Tasmania
Tuesday – Friday, Hobart
Joe Burns (c)
Toyota Futures League
QAS v ACT
Monday – Thursday, Allan Border Field
Chris Lynn (c, Toombul)
Xavier Bartlett (Gold Coast)
James Bazley (Sunshine Coast)
Brendan Doggett (Wests)
Charlie Hemphrey (Toombul)
Matthew Kuhnemann (Gold Coast)
Michael Neser (Gold Coast)
Lachlan Pfeffer (Valley, wk)
Oscar Richardson (Gold Coast)
Bryce Street (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Scott Walter (University of Queensland)
Harry Wood (Ipswich/Logan)