Australian domestic cricket July 4, 2005

Thorpe awarded NSW contract

Cricinfo staff

Graham Thorpe: awarded a contract but will play for NSW only if required © Getty Images

Graham Thorpe, the England middle-order batsman, is one of the 18 players who have been awarded full contracts with New South Wales, the current holders of the Pura Cup, for the 2005-06 season. Craig Simmons, the former Western Australian batsman, Mark Cameron, and Murray Creed are the other new players in the squad.

David Gilbert, the chief executive of Cricket NSW, also announced the seven players who have been awarded rookie contracts. Shawn Bradstreet, Daniel Christian, Don Nash, and Liam Zammit are the players whose contracts have not renewed.

Thorpe is scheduled to arrive early in 2006 and will work with the NSW board in a playing and coaching role. He will also play in the Sydney grade competition. Gilbert said that Thorpe's experience would be vital in assisting the development of the young squad but added that Thorpe would play only if required. "After the relatively recent retirements of the Waugh brothers, Michael Slater and the departure of Michael Bevan to Tasmania, it is important that a batsman of the calibre of Thorpe be contracted into the SpeedBlitz Blues squad," he said. "However, Thorpe will only play for NSW if required should injuries, representative duties or, indeed, poor performances weaken our batting line-up."

Jarrad Burke, Tom Cooper, John Hastings, Stephen O'Keefe and Martin Paskal were awarded rookie contracts. Burke, the former Australian Under-19 player, won the O'Reilly Medal in the grade competition last season, while Hastings, the fast bowler, was awarded the Cricket Australia Rexona Cricket Scholarship earlier this year, following his Player-of-the-Series performances at the 2004-05 National Under-19 Championships.

Contracted players
1 Aaron Bird, 2 Doug Bollinger, 3 Mark Cameron, 4 Stuart Clark, 5 Murray Creed, 6 Ed Cowan, 7 Philip Jaques, 8 Jason Krejza, 9 Grant Lambert, 10 Greg Mail, 11 Matthew Nicholson, 12 Aaron O'Brien, 13 James Packman, 14 Matthew Phelps, 15 Craig Simmons, 16 Daniel Smith, 17 Dominic Thornely, 18 Graham Thorpe.

Rookie contracts
1 Jarrad Burke, 2 Tom Cooper, 3 Peter Forrest, 4 John Hastings, 5 Moises Henriques, 6 Stephen O'Keefe, 7 Martin Paskal.