Australia rule Hopes out of state game
James Hopes' bid to be available for Queensland's must-win FR Cup game against Victoria has been ended by Australia's coach Tim Nielsen. The Bulls had picked Hopes for Saturday's day-night fixture, which comes a day after the final contest of Australia's one-day series against West Indies in Melbourne.
Nielsen spoke to Trevor Barsby, the Queensland coach, to say the gap between matches was too short, but Hopes should be cleared for Monday's Sheffield Shield clash. "I understand where they are coming from and if the game had been a day later, then there probably wouldn't have been an issue,'' Barsby said.
"We would have loved him to play on Saturday - no two ways about that - but if we were going to be in the final next weekend, then he wouldn't have been available anyway. So we will give someone else the chance to play who most likely would be in the side, if we are good enough to get there."
Hopes is part of the one-day tour to New Zealand that leaves next week, and his spot in the domestic game will be taken by the fast bowler Luke Feldman. Whoever wins the match will host the final against Tasmania on February 28, but a no-result will leave the Tigers to stage the decider at Bellerive Oval.
Victoria have been forced into a raft of changes due to international duty and injury, including a change in the captain. Andrew McDonald will lead the team in the absence of David Hussey, who is with Dirk Nannes, Cameron White and Clint McKay in Australia's squads. The batsman Rob Quiney has a groin injury while James Pattinson, the young fast bowler, has a foot stress fracture.
"We've got a lot of depth in our squad, if someone goes out there's always someone else there ready to step up," the coach Greg Shipperd said. "Throughout the season guys like John Hastings, Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade have taken their games to the next level and combined with players the ilk of Andrew McDonald, Brad Hodge and Chris Rogers. We've still got a strong team."
Queensland squad Chris Hartley (wk), Ryan Broad, Lee Carseldine, Craig Philipson, Chris Lynn, Nathan Reardon, Chris Simpson (capt), Ben Cutting, Ben Laughlin, Alister McDermott, Nathan Rimmington, Luke Feldman.
Victoria squad Brad Hodge, Chris Rogers, Aaron Finch, Aiden Blizzard, Andrew McDonald (capt), Michael Hill, John Hastings, Matthew Wade (wk), Damien Wright, Glenn Maxwell, Bryce McGain, Darren Pattinson.