Blues choose Hughes for Pura Cup debut
Phillip Hughes is set to become New South Wales' second-youngest first-class debutant in 30 years after being named in their Pura Cup side to take on Tasmania in Sydney starting next Tuesday. Hughes will be aged 18 years and 355 days on Tuesday - 111 days older than Michael Clarke when he debuted for the Blues in 1999.
A left-hand batsman, Hughes starred in the four-match Australia Under-19 series against Pakistan Under-19 in Queensland in April, striking 101, 101, 48 not out and 74. He was also one of Australia's top batsmen at the Emerging Players Tournament this year and made 51 and 137 for the New South Wales Second XI against the Victoria Second XI this week.
"I'm delighted to be selected for the first time," Hughes said. "I've been working extremely hard on my batting and this is a tremendous opportunity for me. I'm looking forward to training with my team-mates and preparing for this match."
Hughes has replaced Nathan Hauritz in the Blues' 12-man squad, while Tasmania have included Nathan Wegman in place of the injured Adam Griffith. Wegman, 30, made his one-day debut for Tasmania this month and starred with 4 for 44 with his right-arm fast-medium bowling.
The Tigers have also named their FR Cup squad to take on the Blues following the Pura Cup match. Ricky Ponting is expected to play in that game, with Australia's Test commitments finishing early next week.
New South Wales Pura Cup squad Ed Cowan, Grant Lambert, Simon Katich (capt), Dominic Thornely, Peter Forrest, Phillip Hughes, Brad Haddin (wk), Beau Casson, Matthew Nicholson, Nathan Bracken, Mark Cameron, Doug Bollinger.
Tasmania Pura Cup squad Michael Di Venuto, Michael Dighton, Travis Birt, George Bailey, Daniel Marsh (capt), Luke Butterworth, Sean Clingeleffer (wk), Jason Krejza, Brendan Drew, Brett Geeves, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Wegman.
Tasmania FR Cup squad Michael Dighton, Travis Birt, Ricky Ponting (capt), George Bailey, Daniel Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Luke Butterworth, Xavier Doherty, Brendan Drew, Brett Geeves, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Wegman.