Cricket NSW today announced the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues contract list for 2012/13.
Forming the core of the squad are Stephen O’Keefe, Trent Copeland, Moises Henriques, Ben Rohrer, Peter Nevill, Josh Hazlewood, Doug Bollinger and 2011/12 Steve Waugh Medallist, Steven Smith, all of whom are seasoned and proven performers at the State level.
Joining the squad are seven new faces with Tim Cruickshank, David Dawson, Scott Henry, Daniel Hughes, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Lalor and Chris Tremain offered full contracts for the first time in their careers.
Recently named in the Australian U/19 team for the World Cup, Kurtis Patterson made fans stand up and take notice with a brilliant 157 on debut against Western Australia at the SCG, becoming the youngest player to score a century on debut for NSW. Patterson also made 562 runs for St George in Sydney Grade, averaging 51.09.
University of NSW wicketkeeper-batsman, David Dawson, earns his place in the squad after an outstanding summer of Grade cricket, finishing as the competition’s leading batsman with 1108 runs at 58.30. North Sydney batsman, Daniel Hughes, made 541 runs at 33.81 in Grade cricket but also impressed for the NSW Second XI, scoring a century against the Victorian Second XI.
Penrith’s Josh Lalor and University of NSW’s Chris Tremain bolster the squad’s fast bowling stocks.
After holding a State Rookie contract several seasons ago, Josh Lalor joins the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues squad full time this season having made his First Class debut last summer. The left-arm quick claimed 14 wickets in four Bupa Sheffield Shield matches, with best figures of 5/97.
Tremain was called into the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues team at the end of last summer after impressing in Grade cricket where he took 36 wickets at 21.50. His first appearance in State colours was a Ryobi Cup fixture in Perth, taking 2-32 from 10 overs. He also made his First Class debut against Victoria, finishing with match figures of 6-112.
In other changes, all-rounder Sean Abbott has been upgraded from a Rookie contract, while Australian U/19 representatives Harry Conway and Gurinder Sandhu receive their first State Rookie contracts.
Simon Katich, Stuart Clark, Beau Casson and Phil Jaques have retired, while Nathan Hauritz, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Timm van der Gugten have moved interstate. Fast bowler Burt Cockley has been de-listed.
Cricket NSW Chief Executive, David Gilbert, said that this would be a season of opportunity for the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues.
“While it will always be a challenge to replace cricketers with Test match experience, the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues still have a core group of players who have experienced success in domestic cricket, and many of them have represented Australia in their careers to date,” he said.
“There are several new names in our squad this summer, all of whom have been selected due to their impressive performances in both Grade and Second XI cricket. There are excellent opportunities on offer for the season ahead.”
The 2012/13 NSW SpeedBlitz Blues squad is:
Cricket Australia Contract:
Cricket NSW Contract:
Cricket NSW Rookie Contract: