Carseldine, Simpson cut by Queensland
The former Queensland captain Chris Simpson, the batsman Lee Carseldine, and the seamer Ben Laughlin, who has played for Australia, are among six players cut by the Bulls for the 2011-12 season. The batsmen Joe Burns and Andrew Robinson were handed contracts, along with Peter Forrest, who this month confirmed he was heading north to continue his career away from New South Wales.
The rest of the states will be announcing streamlined contract lists over the next few days, with only 14 to 18 spots available per state, down from 16 to 20 last year. The smaller numbers are a reflection of the new memorandum of understanding between the players and Cricket Australia, and the fact that Twenty20 is no longer included; players will be free to sign separate T20 deals with one of the eight city-based sides.
Under the new coach Darren Lehmann, the Bulls have made some significant changes to their batting stocks after a summer in which only two of their men made Sheffield Shield centuries. The veteran top-order player Carseldine, the opener Wade Townsend and the batsman Craig Philipson were cut to make room for Forrest, Robinson and Burns.
Burns, 21, was the only Queensland player apart from Chris Lynn to reached triple-figures in the Sheffield Shield last season, when he made 140 on debut against South Australia in February. It was the highest score on debut for the Bulls since Matthew Hayden, and the impressive Burns went on to make a half-century in his next match.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Robinson, 30, has secured his first state contract after making his debut for Queensland during the summer. Robinson made 77 in his first match and could become the opening partner for Ryan Broad in the longer format after the demotion of Townsend, who was dropped towards the end of last summer.
The allrounder Michael Neser was upgraded from a rookie contract to a full deal, while new rookies will include the 17-year-old batsman Nick Stevens, who made 122 not out in the final round of the Futures League last season. Also on the rookie list is Corey Barsby, 19, who made his Ryobi Cup debut during the summer and is the son of the former Queensland batsman and coach Trevor Barsby, as well as the wicketkeeper James Peirson.
"There are a number of young men in our group who potentially have big futures ahead of them," Lehmann said. "But they will all approach this season knowing they need to work harder than they have ever done before if they want to make the most of that talent."
Queensland chose to contract 17 players and the maximum allowable number of rookies (six), in addition to the fast bowler Ryan Harris, who has a Cricket Australia deal. They lost the fast bowler Nathan Rimmington, who has signed with Western Australia, and axed the rookie Jake Hannan.
Queensland squad Cameron Boyce, Ryan Broad, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Ben Dunk, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris (Cricket Australia contract), Chris Hartley, James Hopes, Chris Lynn, Alister McDermott, Michael Neser, Nathan Reardon, Andrew Robinson, Chris Swan, Scott Walter.
Rookies Corey Barsby, Nick Buchanan, Cameron Gannon, Alex Kemp, James Peirson, Nick Stevens.