Cricket NSW today announced its NSW SpeedBlitz Blues list of contracted players for the 2013/14 season, with the news that Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon will be joining the squad.
Lyon, who was born in Young in regional New South Wales and played junior cricket there, is a major coup for the squad. The 25 year-old is already a veteran of 22 Test matches, and will bring much needed experience and leadership to the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues squad. With coach Trevor Bayliss back in charge, optimism will be high going into the season, with Lyon providing a high quality spin bowling option. The move will also allow Lyon to work closely with COE spin bowling coach Stuart MacGill.
Lyon is excited about the prospect of joining the New South Wales squad: “Having grown up in New South Wales and played my early cricket there it is an exciting prospect to be returning home. Knowing a number of the players pretty well I’m looking forward to coming to Sydney to live and being part of the Blues squad for next season.”
Lyon is one of 7 players on the Cricket Australia Contract list, giving this season’s squad an excellent mixture of experience and youth.
The bulk of last season’s squad remains the same, but after missing out on Cricket Australia contracts, Steve Smith and Moises Henriques head up a talented list that includes a strong battery of pace bowlers, including right-arm sensation Gurinder Sandhu. The tall 19 year-old won last season’s Steve Waugh Medal, despite playing in less than half the matches, and will complement a group that includes Doug Bollinger, Josh Hazlewood, Trent Copeland and Chris Tremain.
Of this year’s ‘Rookie’ list there are two new faces in Ben Dwarshuis and Jay Lenton.
Lenton, is a 22 year-old wicketkeeper-batsman from the North Sydney club, who hails originally from the Central Coast. A left-hander who strikes the ball powerfully, Lenton scored 540 runs in First Grade last season at an average of 49.09, in addition to 38 dismissals. He also featured in two Futures League matches.
Ben Dwarshuis, is a 19 year-old all-rounder from the Sutherland club. Bowling left-arm fast-medium with an action similar to Mitchell Johnson’s, Dwarshuis is also a dangerous lower-order bat who represented NSW at Under 19 level last season.
Departures from the 2012/13 Contract list are Tim Cruickshank, David Dawson and Luke Doran (all de-listed).
Cricket NSW Chairman John Warn is excited about the quality of the squad going into next season.
“Even with seven NSW players being contracted to Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW has still been able to name a very talented Contract list for 2013/14. The addition of Nathan Lyon to our squad to play alongside a group of younger players that are developing rapidly, plus having someone of the ability of Trevor Bayliss to bring the group together, means that we have the depth and experience to challenge in both forms of the game next season.” Warn said.
The full 28 player NSW Speedblitz Blues Squad for 2013/14 is:
CRICKET AUSTRALIA CONTRACTS