Thornely to lead Blues in season opener
Dominic Thornely has been named to captain New South Wales for Wednesday's opening fixture of the Australian domestic season. The summer kicks off with an FR Cup match between the Blues and Western Australia in Perth.
The New South Wales squad will start the season without several key players including the regular captain Simon Katich and Doug Bollinger, who are on tour with Australia in India. Thornely filled in as the leader on occasions last summer and he is set to guide the Blues for at least a month in Katich's absence.
The 12-man squad for the season opener features a strong emphasis on spin, with Nathan Hauritz joined by the left-arm orthodox spinner Steve O'Keefe and the legspinner Steven Smith. However, there was no place for Beau Casson, who is in contention for a late call-up for the India tour but struggled to win selection in the Blues' one-day side last season.
Nathan Bracken provides some much needed experience in the young New South Wales group. The Blues were last summer's Pura Cup champions but they battled for impact in the one-day competition, where they finished on the bottom of the table.
Western Australia have named a 14-man squad that includes the uncapped left-arm fast bowler Arron Crawford, who was given his first full state deal for 2008-09. The Warriors finished second last on the FR Cup table last summer.
Western Australia squad Shaun Marsh, Luke Ronchi (wk), Liam Davis, Marcus North (capt), Adam Voges, Luke Pomersbach, Theo Doropoulos, David Bandy, Matt Johnston, Aaron Heal, Brett Dorey, Steve Magoffin, Ben Edmondson, Arron Crawford.
New South Wales squad Phillip Hughes, Grant Lambert, Peter Forrest, Dominic Thornely (capt), David Warner, Steven Smith, Daniel Smith (wk), Nathan Hauritz, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Bracken, Aaron Bird, Mark Cameron.