Queensland Cricket today announced the Bulls contracted and rookie player list, with young fast bowlers Xavier Bartlett, 19, and Jack Prestwidge, 22, the new faces on the main list. 

The duo has been upgraded from rookie deals last season to full contracts.

Queensland has added three first-timers to the its rookie list, with Australian Under-19 duo Nathan McSweeney and Blake Edwards joined by 2018 Cricket Australia Pathways Rookie inclusion Connor Sully.

Batting allrounder McSweeney was included this week in the 10-player National Performance Squad to work out of the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane this winter.

McSweeney, 19, scored 154 against PNG in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand where he played alongside fellow Queensland contracted players Max Bryant and Bartlett.

Wests fast bowler Blake Edwards was a member of the extended Australian squad that prepared for the World Cup, playing matches against the Pakistan Under-19 team prior to the tournament. He was also a strong performer for the Bulldogs in Premier Cricket, taking 31 wickets at 21.61 in his first full season in the top grade.

Sully, a right-arm pace bowler who has represented Queensland at Under-17 level, is the first player born in 2000 to be contracted by Queensland, with the Nudge College product turning 18 in October.

He played alongside McSweeney and Prestwidge in the Norths team that won the Queensland Premier Cricket title in March which each contributing significantly to the Vikings championship win. McSweeney hit 68 in a crucial partnership with century-maker Tom Healy while Prestwidge (4-45 and 4-88) and Sully (2-29) led the charge to bowl out Sandgate-Redcliffe twice to set up for the victory.

Queensland has three Cricket Australia contracted players in Usman Khawaja, Matthew Renshaw and Billy Stanlake and has awarded 18 State contracts and six Rookie deals.

Batsman Peter Forrest, who took up a coaching role with Hawkesbury in the NSW Premier Competition at the end of the 2017-18 season with Queensland, and allrounder Ben Cutting, who announced his retirement from first class cricket last month, were not contracted.

Forrest scored 2417 runs in 43 first games for Queensland, as well as representing Australia in limited overs cricket during his time with the Bulls. Cutting enjoyed an 11-year first class career with Queensland, playing in the 2011-12 Sheffield Shield winning squad.

Queensland Cricket Convener of Selectors Justin Sternes congratulated both players on their State careers.

“We thank them both for the mighty contribution they have made to Queensland Cricket and the Bulls over the years and wish them the best for the future,’’ he said.

“Ben is part of the Brisbane Heat squad so he will be around the group still and we’ll certainly be in contact closer to the start of the domestic season and the JLT One Day games,’’ Sternes said.

Redlands allrounder James Bazley and Ipswich-Logan allrounder Harry Wood were also not contracted with Sternes noting that both players remained of interest for selection.

Sternes said he expected Heat batsman Chris Lynn would also train with the squad closer to the start of the 2018-19 season.

“It’s important for us to have players like Ben and Chris working alongside the young members of the squad and ideally, they will be fit and available for selection for the Bulls for the one-day games,’’ he said.

“We were pleased to retain the bulk of the squad that helped Queensland win the Shield and it was very encouraging to see Jack Wildermuth, Mitch Swepson and Billy Stanlake included in the recent Australian limited overs squads for the winter tours to England and Zimbabwe, especially after having Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw finish the season in the Test line-up,’’ he said.

The squad will resume training next month, with Bulls coaches Wade Seccombe and Andy Bichel both spending time recently in the United States visiting professional sporting teams as part of Cricket Australia’s High Performance Coaching program.

Seccombe said he was excited about his second season with the squad as head coach.

“We enjoyed some success last season but it’s encouraging to know there is more improvement to come,’’ he said.

“It’s a well-balanced squad with plenty of potential and we know there are some outstanding opportunities ahead. We’re all keen to work hard again and develop our skills further during the winter.”

2018-19 Queensland Bulls Squad

CA Contract

Usman Khawaja (Valley)

Matthew Renshaw (Toombul)

Billy Stanlake (Souths)

 

Full Contracts

Xavier Bartlett (Gold Coast) (NEW)

Joe Burns (Norths)

Brendan Doggett (Wests)

Luke Feldman (Valley)

Jason Floros (Wynnum-Manly)

Cameron Gannon (Norths)

Peter George (Wynnum-Manly)

Sam Heazlett (Redlands)

Charlie Hemphrey (Sandgate-Redcliffe)

Marnus Labuschagne (Redlands)

Michael Neser (Gold Coast)

Lachlan Pfeffer (Valley)

James Peirson (Redlands)

Jack Prestwidge (Norths) (NEW)

Mark Steketee (Valley)

Mitch Swepson (Sandgate-Redcliffe)

Sam Truloff (Wests)

Jack Wildermuth (Valley)

 

Rookie Contracts

Max Bryant (Gold Coast)

Blake Edwards (Wests) (NEW)

Matthew Kuhnemann (Gold Coast)

Nathan McSweeney (Norths) (NEW)

Bryce Street (Sandgate-Redcliffe)

Connor Sully (Norths) (NEW)