December 31, 2002

Dale returns for Bulls

The XXXX Queensland Bulls will welcome back crafty swing bowler Adam Dale and greet the arrival of teenage batsman Nick Kruger for their Pura Cup clash against the Western Warriors in Perth starting on Saturday.

Dale will make his return to the Bulls team for the first time since undergoing major shoulder surgery last season.

The 1999 World Cup player has made encouraging progress since making his comeback at the start of the season, and helped the Queensland Academy of Sport to an outright win over Tasmania before Christmas.

Kruger, a powerful left-hand opening batsman from the Valley club, is one of the leading runs-scorers for the QAS team in the ACB Cup 2nd XI competition this season.

The 19-year-old has scored 293 runs at 48.33 so far for the QAS, which is in a four-way tie for first spot in the ACB Cup.

Kruger, who was not named in the Bulls' squad of 23 players at the start of the season, will make his first class and Pura Cup debut if he plays in Perth.

The Bulls will be minus seven front-line players for the match against the Warriors, with Matthew Hayden, Andy Bichel and Martin Love on international duty in the Fifth Test in Sydney and captain Jimmy Maher, Andrew Symonds, Ashley Noffke and Nathan Hauritz involved with Australia 'A' in Adelaide.

The Bulls have also been buoyed by the return of quick bowler Michael Kasprowicz, who has overcome a hamstring complaint that forced him to miss Queensland's outright win over Tasmania before Christmas.

Kasprowicz will captain the side for the second time in the absence of regular skipper Maher, and will seek to retain his undefeated record after leading the Bulls to an outright against the Tigers at the Gabba earlier this month.

Opening batsman Daniel Payne, allrounder James Hopes and left-arm spinner Matthew Anderson have all been selected in the Queensland line-up for the first time this season.

Kruger, Dale and Anderson will join the remainder of the Bulls players already in Perth on Thursday.

Queensland play the Warriors in a day/night ING Cup match on Thursday at the WACA.

XXXX Bulls v Warriors, Pura Cup, January 4-7, WACA, Perth: Michael Kasprowicz (c), Brendan Nash, Daniel Payne, Lee Carseldine, Stuart Law, Clinton Perren, James Hopes, Wade Seccombe, Adam Dale, Joe Dawes, Matthew Anderson, Nick Kruger.