Blizzard and Cassell move to South Australia
South Australia have boosted their list of contracted players with the addition of the Victorians Aiden Blizzard and Rob Cassell. Blizzard, a hard-hitting batsman, impressed the Redbacks with his Man-of-the-Match performance against them in the Big Bash final in January.
He has been a solid Twenty20 player for Victoria over the past four seasons but has struggled to make his name in the longer formats. The South Australians hope that Blizzard, 25, can become a serious contributor to the middle order in all three versions of the game.
"Aiden comes as a very highly regarded and talented young player, who we are sure will play a strong role in driving the Redbacks' culture forward," Jamie Cox, the SACA director of cricket, said. "Aiden has been starved of opportunities in Victoria in recent seasons and whilst he's played starring roles in the Victorians' Big Bash campaigns, he comes to SA eager to prove that he is more than a short-form hitter."
Blizzard has fond memories of Adelaide Oval, having struck a remarkable 89 from 38 balls during his Twenty20 debut at the venue on New Year's Day in 2007. He will be joined in the South Australia squad by the fast bowler Cassell, 27, who returned to state cricket last summer after nearly seven seasons on the sidelines due to serious back problems.
Cassell was offered a deal by Victoria but instead chose to head to Adelaide, where he felt his opportunities would be greater. With the Bushrangers, he would have been battling for opportunities with a long list of fast men including Peter Siddle, Clint McKay, Damien Wright, John Hastings, Darren Pattinson and James Pattinson.
"Rob is quality person, and a very hard worker who has re-emerged after a tough battle with injury," Cox said. "He not only possesses the physical attributes of raw pace and strength to succeed in Adelaide, but the personal qualities that will complement the development of our young pace attack."