Tasmania finalise new-look squad
Tasmania's squad has had a significant overhaul ahead of next season as they aim to defend the Sheffield Shield title with a new-look group. Nine players are gone from last year's contract list, including the fast bowlers Brett Geeves, Adam Griffith and Gerard Denton, who have all retired, and Tim Macdonald, who has been delisted.
Also cut from the squad were the opening batsmen Jon Wells and Rhett Lockyear, the wicketkeeper Brady Jones and the rookie bowler Hamish Kingston, while the batsman Travis Birt has headed to Western Australia. The Victorian allrounder Evan Gulbis has joined the Tigers, along with Matt Johnston from Western Australia and Jackson Bird from New South Wales.
The gloveman Tom Triffitt has been upgraded from a rookie deal to a full contract, effectively making him the backup to Tim Paine, while Nick Kruger and Matthew Day have also been named in the squad. Sandy Rogers, from New South Wales, has been given a rookie deal, as have the Tasmanian duo of Sam Rainbird and Marc Simonds.
"I am really comfortable with our new signings and the list that we have put together for 2011-12," the coach Tim Coyle said. "We have obviously cut some players from the squad, lost some to retirement at the end of 2010-11 and have also recruited from interstate, but we are also backing our outstanding local talent to keep the Tasmanian Tigers at the top of Australian domestic cricket.
"We have some experienced players on the list who will play big roles for us, but we must not forget that we have an exciting bunch of young cricketers as well, and we are committed to seeing these young players get opportunities to play at the highest level throughout the upcoming season. I feel that we have got our list right with a mix that will set us up for years to come, and with five Tasmanians with Cricket Australia contracts I think the current strength of Tasmanian cricket is evident."
Tasmania squad George Bailey, Jackson Bird, Luke Butterworth, Steven Cazzulino, Mark Cosgrove, Ed Cowan, Matthew Day, Xavier Doherty (Cricket Australia contract), Alex Doolan, Brendan Drew, James Faulkner, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus (CA), Matt Johnston, Jason Krejza (CA), Nick Kruger, Adam Maher, Tim Paine (CA), Ricky Ponting (CA), Tom Triffitt.
Rookies Ashton May, Sam Rainbird, Sandy Rogers, Jeremy Smith, Marc Simonds.