The Queensland Country men’s and women’s teams will look to start 2020 on a winning note.
Former Queensland Bulls spinner Cameron Brimblecombe will again spearhead the Brahmans’ campaign, after being included in last season’s Toyota Australian Country team following the titles in Shepparton, Victoria.
Townsville based soldier Jarrod Collis, a former Sydney first grade player, was initially selected but withdrew as the Armed Forces continue to serve and support local authorities coping with bushfires, drought and other natural disasters this summer.
He has been replaced by Rockhampton’s Joe McGahan who will make his Brahmans’ debut.
Experienced Wests Toowoomba batsman Chris Gillam, who farms near Clifton, returns to the Brahmans line-up after a few year’s absence last year, while fellow Darling Downs product Sam Neale makes his first open Queensland representative squad after playing for the Queensland Under-19 side at the National titles in Perth last week.
The Brahmans were beaten finalists in the T20 component of the competition last season, with Western Austalia winning the overall championships.
Emerald based Troy Paradies will coach the team for the first time with Townsville’s Tony Hampson his assistant.
The Brahmans warmed up for the titles with two games earlier this week at Allan Border Field against an Indigenous Cricket XI.
Despite two dashing knocks from Toombul allrounder Preston White for the Indigenous XI, Queensland Country claimed both of the games to head into the championships with some winning form.
In the first T20 match, Queensland Country scored 5-175 with Cairns allrounder Jake Roach hitting 54 from 34, Angus Warnock scoring 40 from 27 balls and Sam Lowry hitting 36 from 24 balls. Toowoomba's Daley Martin picked up 2-32 for the Indigenous XI.
In the one-day practice game, the Brahmans experienced left-arm spinner Michael Salerno claimed 3-36, while Toowoomba teen Sam Neale claimed 2-17 from six overs as the Indigenous side was held to 163, with the batting highlight a classy 93 from White.
Country made 2-173 in reply, with Chris Gillam top-scoring with a composed 48 not out.
The Queensland Country Women’s team, led by Townsville’s Stephanie Baldwin, have finished as runners-up in their past two campaigns.
Ipswich’s Lexie Muller was Queensland’s only Australian Country selection last season.
Several players in the Queensland side have enjoyed success so far this season with Premier Grade teams in the Katherine Raymond Shield.
Among the new faces are former Queensland youth leg-spinner Melissa Lewis who returned to play cricket with the Gold Coast Dolphins last year after a lengthy break.
Toowomba-based Bruce Deem will coach the team.
2019-20 Queensland Country Men’s Team
Christopher GILLAM (Toowoomba)
Mitchell ENGLISH (Mackay)
Justin DIXON (Townsville)
Angus WARNOCK (Cairns)
Jake ROACH (Cairns)
Michael SALERNO (Cairns)
Christopher STANGER (Cairns)
Joe McGAHAN (Rockhampton)
Samuel WINTON (Gold Coast)
Joshua De MUNARI (Townsville)
Samuel LOWRY (Gladstone)
Mason KOHLER (Mackay)
Sam Neale (Toowoomba)
Cameron BRIMBLECOMBE (Toowoomba)
Coach: Troy Paradies
Assistant Coach: Tony Hampson
Manager: Jonathan Smith
2019-20 Queensland Country Women’s Team
Stephanie Baldwin (Townsville)
Amy Riddell (Gold Coast)
Alana Romano (Innisfail)
Abby Toshach (Atherton)
Carly Cooper (Warwick)
Carly Fuller (Gold Coast)
Charni Bloxsom (Mackay)
Eliza Flynn (Toowoomba)
Lexie Muller (Ipswich)
Maggie Murphy (Toowoomba)
Melissa Lewis (Gold Coast)
Samantha Dixon (Townsville)
Stacy Rockliff (Townsville)
Tahlia Smith (Cairns)
Coach: Bruce Deem
Manager: Nicole Wills
Coverage will be through http://www.countrychamps.com.au/