Australian news April 22, 2010

Redbacks swing axe in search of winning culture

Cricinfo staff

South Australia have not offered six players, including the former internationals Dan Cullen and Mark Cosgrove, contracts for next summer in a significant shake-up. The Redbacks finished last in the one-day and Sheffield Shield competitions and have cut some of their under-performers.

Cullen, the offspinner, played a Test against Bangladesh in 2006 but was unable to maintain his form and was a fringe figure with the squad last season. "He probably didn't cope with his elevation terribly well," Jamie Cox, South Australia's director of cricket, said.

"What he did when he got elevated to Test match level was to try to make himself better. His way of trying to make himself better was to try and invent new deliveries to try to become a different bowler and a better bowler and unfortunately that was to the detriment of what was his key craft, which was as a really good, talented offspin bowler."

Cosgrove's release was announced last week while Allan Wise, Matthew Weeks and the rookies Alex Carey and Cameron Francis also missed out. Paul Rofe, the fast bowler, has retired.

While South Australia qualified for the Champions League Twenty20 after reaching the domestic final, Cox said the results in the other competitions had "brought some things to the surface". "Too often it would appear as though we accept near enough as good enough," he said. "And we have compromised along the way in times where a tougher pathway has clearly been the way forward. That has to change because the culture here has really proven itself to not know how to win."

South Australia first round contracts Cullen Bailey, Cameron Borgas, Daniel Christian, Mark Cleary, Tom Cooper, Chris Duval, Callum Ferguson (Cricket Australia contract), Peter George, Jake Haberfield, Daniel Harris, Michael Klinger, Graham Manou, Aaron O'Brien, Kieron Pollard, Gary Putland, James Smith, Shaun Tait (Cricket Australia contract).