2014-15 BULLS SQUAD CONFIRMED
The Queensland Bulls have retained the bulk of the dual championship Ryobi Cup one-day team as well as adding a host of current or former Australian U-19 players to their playing roster for the 2014-15 season.
Batsmen Usman Khawaja and Peter Forrest, Queensland’s leading run-scorer last season, are among 11 players who have accepted multi-year contracts.
Batsman Nick Stevens, paceman Mark Steketee and wicket-keeper James Peirson, all former national youth players, have each received full contracts.
Stevens, who made his first class debut last season for the Bulls, earned a playing contract during the summer after the 19-year-old started the year as a rookie.
Peirson, 21, made his Queensland debut in the victorious Ryobi Cup campaign while 19-year-old Warwick based Steketee earned a contract with the Brisbane Heat in the KFC T20 Big Bash League.
Each of the three played for the Queensland Academy of Sport 2nd XI squad that won the Toyota Futures League last season.
Queensland has six Rookie contracted players, including four of last year’s Australian U-19 World Cup squad in allrounder James Bazley, wicket-keeper Ben McDermott, batsman Matthew Renshaw and paceman Billy Stanlake.
Bazley, Renshaw and Stanlake have each signed multi-year deals. McDermott and Toombul paceman Ronan McDonald are both in their second year as rookie players.
Renshaw, 18, was the Queensland Youth Player of the Year with the left-handed top order batsman scoring three centuries for Toombul in the XXXX GOLD Premier Grade competition.
He is currently spending the winter in the United Kingdom as part of the MCC Young Cricketer Program.
Valley allrounder Jack Wildermuth, an Australian U-19 representative in 2013, earns his first rookie contract after a strong second half of the season for the premiers.
Former Test off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, batsmen Alex Kemp and Greg Moller and pace bowler Matthew Gale were among those not offered full contracts for the coming season.
Queensland Selector Trevor Hohns said it had been a difficult decision not to offer Hauritz a contract.
“Nathan had his season curtailed by injury, and during that time Cam Boyce made some strong inroads as our first choice spinner,’’ he said.
“The National Selection Panel has shown their interest in progressing Cam’s career with his selection in the Australia ‘A’ squad for later in the year and as a young wrist spinner, we’re obviously keen to continue to provide him with further opportunities to develop.”
“In saying that, Nathan will certainly be in contention to be selected from outside the squad for the coming season, like any other player in the XXXX GOLD Premier Grade competition, based on their performances.”
Hohns, who is also the State Talent Manager for Cricket Australia, was delighted with the young talent that Queensland has secured.
“It is a very exciting crop of players that have emerged over the past few seasons and we believe they have the potential to go far in the game.
“But developing home grown talent is one aspect of our charter – the other is to get players into the national line-up and that is an area that the coaching staff and selectors are continuing to work hard at achieving success,” Hohns said.
Batsman Luke Pomersbach’s decision last week to stand down from all cricket to focus on his health means that Queensland have contracted 18 players with a further six rookies.
Fast bowler Ryan Harris is contracted to Cricket Australia.
Several of the squad will be involved in the upcoming ‘A’ series against India and South Africa in northern Australia next month.
Forrest, Boyce, Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting have been named for the opening four-day games against India ‘A’ at Allan Border Field from July 6-9 and July 13-16, while the quartet will also see one-day action in Darwin and Townsville.
Forrest, Lynn and Cutting are also in the squad for two four-day games against South Africa ‘A’ at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville.
Khawaja will miss the pre-season after accepting a short-term contract late last week to play county cricket with Lancashire in England for the remainder of the northern summer.
2014-15 XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls Squad
Ryan HARRIS (Cricket Australia)
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