Australian news June 27, 2011

Clark keeps New South Wales contract

ESPNcricinfo staff

Stuart Clark has retained his playing contract with New South Wales despite stepping back from his on-field duties to focus on his new role as general manager of the Sydney Sixers Twenty20 side. Clark did not retire when he took up the administrative job in May, but he said he would only play for the Blues in times of crisis and would instead put his energy into his off-field role.

However, he has been named in the state's squad for 2011-12, an indication that Clark might not have played his last game for the Blues. The news was not so good for the wicketkeeper Daniel Smith, the allrounders Tim Armstrong and Scott Coyte, the spinner Luke Doran and the fast bowler Joe Mennie, all of whom were delisted.

From their 2010-11 squad, New South Wales also lost Mark Cameron to Western Australia, Peter Forrest to Queensland and Nathan Bracken to retirement. The promising opener Nic Maddinson, who is currently on tour with Australia A in Zimbabwe, was upgraded from a rookie deal to a full contract, while the allrounder Sean Abbott, the fast bowler Nic Bills and the legspinner Nathan Brain were all made rookies.

"The regular availability of Simon Katich for the RTA SpeedBlitz Blues will be of enormous benefit both to the team and for the development of our young players," the Cricket NSW chief executive David Gilbert said, "whilst the return from injury of fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Burt Cockley is eagerly awaited."

With 10 players on Cricket Australia contracts, the Blues were in an envious position compared to other states after the recent collective bargaining talks between the players and Cricket Australia resulted in a reduced number of state deals being offered. New South Wales were able to name a squad of 29, including CA players and rookies.

New South Wales squad Doug Bollinger (Cricket Australia contract), Beau Casson, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke (CA), Burt Cockley, Trent Copeland, Patrick Cummins (CA), Brad Haddin (CA), Nathan Hauritz (CA), Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes (CA), Phil Jaques, Simon Katich, Usman Khawaja (CA), Brett Lee (CA), Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Steve O'Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith (CA), Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson (CA).

Rookies Sean Abbott, Nic Bills, Nathan Brain, Timm van der Gugten, Adam Zampa.