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.

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  • Andrew on June 28, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    @Woody111 - plain numbers are pretty amazing, but when you look at it, there is really only 3 CA contracted NSW players that could be considered lucky to varying degrees (Smith, Lee & Cummins) balanced against one unlucky player (Katich). As far as QLD & Sth A - who hasn't got a contract that is more deserving. I see heaps of talent in QLD but not many are even close to getting a gig at higher levels (Lynn excepted). SA - there's a good case for Lyon on a par with Cummins. As far as Shield performances - having CA contracts are double edged sword - more stars = higher turnover of players during a season which = instability.

  • Luke on June 28, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    I know it's fashionable to bag NSW as Australian cricket's favourite son but, come on, 10 CA contracted players!?! NSW has 10 out of a possible 25 contracts; while SA and Qld have one each. If NSW can't lift the shield this year there is something seriously wrong!

  • Andrew on June 28, 2011, 0:05 GMT

    @katandthat3 - agree re: Henriques, although I think his bowling in 1st class games is not too bad - its his batting that has really dissappointed. @Balmey-Matt - Casson returned to 1st class cricket late in the season, so maybe they think he is on the improve again. @dsig3 - assume you mean Stuey Clark, I agree! @HatsforBats - don't forget the Pura Milk Cup! LOL! I'd rather them raise money that way then by selling their soul for T20! Still it better be big bucks, because I don't like it either. re: Copeland a central contract, I think that unless 50 over cricket becomes extinct, we're going to have 3 formats & only 25 centrally contracted payers. I think they shoul expand the contract list to about 30. This would mean states could contract more players for 1st class cricket. I think pick your 22 best players for Tests, 3 ODI "specialists", 2 T20 "specialists & 3 rookies. That means I guy like Cummins can get a contract without dropping Katich. Lee can get an ODI contract.

  • kieran on June 27, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    Totally agree with you dsig3. Also amazed Casson gets in, and that Copeland didn't get a CA contract. @ Lees_Legends: come on, the blues can name 2 for every 1 talented player in every other state, it's just a simple case of a bigger talent pool, there's no conspiracy going on. Quick question: anyone else sick of teams being named after the sponsor? I almost spewed a few seasons back hearing the Commonwealth Bank Australia team being introduced.

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Can't believe Scott Coyte got dropped - he had real potential in the T20 format with his unnervingly short run-up. As for Luke Doran, he could have been good as well! Disappointing.

  • django on June 27, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    The guy has too much knowledge to be left out. He should get a contract purely to teach Starc and Cummins how to bowl.

  • Matt on June 27, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    Still cant believe how Beau Casson can get a contract yet wont play, Alex Zampa is better than him and he's on the rookie list.

  • Garry on June 27, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    Pretty strong squad as always, massive boost having Kat there and pretty essential to have that experience with the younger players. Stuart is a good coach and hopefully they can manage the up and coming quicks in Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Copeland will continue to do his thing while the spin stocks look good. Still hopefull that O'Keefe and Hauritz play a lot for Australia this summer and enable Casson & Smith, Brain and Zampa get plenty of overs in Shield and Futures respectively. Henriques has really dipped off the radar, interesting to see how he goes, his bowling is very samey and hitable while his batting has plateaued a bit but still has it in him to have a bigger year.

  • Gavin on June 27, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Selection bias benefits the blues! Bushrangers would also have things easier.

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