Ben Dunk named for Sheffield Shield debut
Queensland's back-up wicketkeeper Ben Dunk will make his first-class debut as a specialist batsman when the Bulls kick off their Sheffield Shield campaign on Friday. Dunk has been named alongside the regular gloveman Chris Hartley, who will remain behind the stumps for the match against Tasmania at the Gabba.
Dunk, 23, is in his first season as a fully-contracted Queensland player and he made an unbeaten 93 for the Queensland Academy of Sport team last week. The Bulls will be without the fast bowlers Ben Cutting, Ryan Harris and Scott Walter, all of whom are working their way back from injuries.
Queensland have also dropped last year's captain Chris Simpson, with the legspinner Cameron Boyce set to take the position as the No. 1 slow bowler. James Hopes will captain the Bulls this year, an honour that he has described as being on a par with being selected to play for Australia.
Tasmania have named Mark Cosgrove to make his debut for the state after switching from South Australia, while the opening batsman Steven Cazzulino has also been included in their 13-man Sheffield Shield squad. Cazzulino, 23, was recruited from Sydney's grade cricket after he was the leading scorer in the competition last summer.
"He's ready for first-class cricket," Cazzulino's potential opening partner Ed Cowan said. "He's been on the fringes but was not really recognised at New South Wales. He's had a couple of really big seasons in club cricket and he's at that age where he's learnt enough about his game to put it into practice. He got a great hundred in the second XI last week, so he's ready."
The Tigers have also named their squad for the first split-innings one-day match of the season, against the Bulls on Wednesday. Jonathan Wells and Alex Doolan, who have played Sheffield Shield but are yet to make their one-day debuts, are in the 13-man group while Travis Birt is expected to take the gloves in the absence of Tim Paine.
Tasmania one-day squad Ed Cowan, Rhett Lockyear, Jonathan Wells, Mark Cosgrove, Alex Doolan, George Bailey (capt), Travis Birt (wk), Luke Butterworth, James Faulkner, Brett Geeves, Xavier Doherty, Jason Krejza, Brendan Drew.
Tasmania Sheffield Shield squad Ed Cowan, Mark Cosgrove, Alex Doolan, Steven Cazzulino, George Bailey (capt), Travis Birt, Luke Butterworth, James Faulkner, Brady Jones (wk), Brett Geeves, Xavier Doherty, Brendan Drew, Adam Griffith.
Queensland Sheffield Shield squad Ryan Broad, Wade Townsend, Chris Lynn, Lee Carseldine, Ben Dunk, James Hopes (capt), Chris Hartley (wk), Chris Swan, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Laughlin, Cameron Boyce, Luke Feldman.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo