Australia news June 29, 2012

Khawaja and Hauritz join Queensland

32

The exodus from New South Wales has continued with Usman Khawaja and Nathan Hauritz both confirming they have signed with Queensland. Their departures follow Thursday's news that Phillip Hughes was moving to South Australia, further depleting a New South Wales line-up that had already been hit by the retirements of Simon Katich this month and Phil Jaques at the end of last summer.

Khawaja and Hauritz both held Cricket Australia contracts last year but were cut last week as the list of national contracts was slashed from 25 to 17. The influx of former international players - Hughes, Doug Bollinger and Steven Smith also lost their national deals - has left the Blues juggling their list as some of their players have looked interstate for other offers.

Although Queensland won the Sheffield Shield last season, the presence of Khawaja will be a major boost to their batting. The Bulls can now boast two men on the fringes of Test selection, Khawaja and Peter Forrest, as well as two of the most promising young batsmen on the domestic scene in Australia, Joe Burns and Chris Lynn.

Khawaja, who is currently playing for Derbyshire, is expected to link up with the Bulls in September ahead of what could be an early start to their title defence. Khawaja averages 80.80 in four first-class matches at the Gabba, and although it can be a challenging venue for batsmen, he can take inspiration from the significant improvement in Forrest's results when he moved from Sydney to Brisbane last year.

"The decision to join Queensland has been the toughest decision of my career, particularly because I had to leave my home, my mates, my family, and my clubs of Cricket New South Wales and Randwick Petersham," Khawaja said. "I owe a great deal to where I am, and what I've achieved, to Cricket NSW and the 'Randy-Petes'.

"I'm extremely excited about joining Queensland and taking my cricket to the next level. I have a big role and it's a perfect environment for me to grow as a player and a person. Darren [Lehmann, the Queensland coach] and Trevor Hohns have meticulously crafted a team culture that is welcoming, yet very demanding."

Lehmann said he was impressed that Khawaja had been willing to move out of his comfort zone to embrace a new challenge.

"The easy decision for Usman would have been to stay where he was, but to his credit, he got in touch with us to see whether there was an opportunity with the Bulls to take his game to a new level, and for that stance, I congratulate him," Lehmann said. "It was a mature cricket decision, based around joining a successful group and I'm very excited about him coming into our culture, developing his skills and growing as a player."

Khawaja, 25, has played six Tests for Australia, the last of which was the loss to New Zealand in Hobart in December. Hauritz, 30, was a regular member of Australia's Test side until the 2010-11 Ashes, but the emergence of Nathan Lyon and a serious shoulder injury to Hauritz last year has left him adrift from international cricket, and he did not play a game for Australia over the past year despite holding a national contract.

Originally from Queensland, where he played 28 first-class matches before moving to New South Wales in 2006-07, Hauritz began the gradual journey home last summer when he played for the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League. Although he will be battling with the promising young legspinner Cameron Boyce for a place in the side, Hauritz said the opportunity to move back to Brisbane was too good to pass up.

"I left Queensland looking for opportunity and gained that with New South Wales, and for that, I am eternally grateful," Hauritz said. "I was able to realise my dream of playing for Australia and thoroughly enjoyed playing cricket with NSW and with Randwick-Petersham. My wife Di and I enjoyed living in Sydney, but when the possibility emerged for us to come back home, it was too good to miss."

"The chance to work with Boof [Lehmann] and get back to playing with the guys I grew up was very attractive and the fact I enjoyed my time with the Brisbane Heat last season reinforced that it was the right way to go. I still believe I can play for Australia and I'm confident the way the Bulls play and the group they have will help me with that goal."

Lehmann said Queensland were happy to welcome Hauritz home. "He's a world-class offspinner, which fits in with how we are structuring our squad, and I am sure he is ready to demonstrate those skills for us and again reach the heights he has previously achieved," Lehmann said. "He showed me with the Heat that he is a calm, mature cricketer and we're confident he will work beautifully with the Bulls group."

Queensland's two big signings came as all six states continued to lock in players for next summer, with one week left in the contracting window. Western Australia were keen on recruiting the Tasmania wicketkeeper Tim Paine to replace Luke Ronchi, but Paine has declared he will be staying in Hobart next season.

The Warriors were also interested in Tom Triffitt, the young Tasmania backup gloveman, while his state team-mates James Faulkner has also received interest from interstate. However, Tasmania confirmed on Friday that Faulkner had signed a new three-year deal to remain with the Tigers.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on July 2, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    @gpm86... Agree - Khawaja & Hughes have both been coached under the NSW system where both left handers have turned from good players into average players - Hughes has stated that his only coach is his personal coack yet both he & Ussie have somehow turned into front-on batsmen under their tutelage which has greatly comprimised their their whole game & left their defensive game open to easy exploitation... Seems hyclass & meety have great credentials that are unproven if not bs... meety jokes about his FC average... Hard to tell them apart - lol...

  • MenFromMarts on July 2, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Now Kurtis Patterson will shine in the NSW colours. Hope he doesn't get poached as he is an amazing bat. Still think NSW now need an old head in the batting line up. Could RT Ponting be a chance ? Now that would be a NSW coup.

  • gpm86 on July 2, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    @hyclass- hanging around a bowling coach, doesnt make you a coach of any sort. no need to blow ur own whistle mate.

    All young players have flaws in their game that need to be worked on. but horizon is right in saying that a number of professionals have identified him as a talent, regardless of a flaw which they are working to fix.

  • hyclass on July 1, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    @CricHorizon..I'm yet to see any specific refuting data from you.At the time of my observations,Khawaja had a 1st Class ave of 53.That has subsequently fallen to 42.His Test average is 29 & his S/R very low.He hasnt passed 36 in any of his last 12 innings.Those flaws I identified have since been commented on by players,journalists & coaches in recent articles on this site.They describe him walking himself front on.If you were correct in any of your observations,then his record would be rising,not falling as it has done for some considerable time.This article makes it clear that he knocked on QLD's door-not the other way around as was the case with the other named players.I observed there was enough in his early record to encourage perserverence.His current game continues to fail at 1st Class level.Lehmann is one of the greats & his best hope.I once bowled to Lehmann during a coaching session at Bat & Ball in Melbourne.Saker,the Eng bowling coach used to play cards at my house.

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Khawaja, like most players, is a confidence player, and his appalling treatment by CA hasn't helped. He does seem a bit soft though and if he were to knuckle down and put the hours in the nets I am certain he will reach his potential.

  • ozwriter on July 1, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    thanks LewisEdwards, this is a great move for Khawaja and I think he will do well under the tutelage of Lehman. Imagine the batting combination with Lynn, Forrest and Khawaja. Khawaja should be in australian colours soon! and some of the arm chair critics on technique, you would think they were retired batting coaches or something. when renowned international observers and commentator like ponting, chris gayle, and graeme smith speak highly of khawaja's talent, technique and maturity; i'm not sure that the nonsensical rants of a few should cloud the discussion.

  • hyclass on June 30, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    Khawaja may struggle to command a place in the QLD side.It's interesting that the article describes him as approaching QLD rather than the opposite, as seen with respect to the other batsmen and bowlers named.Khawaja's form slump has little to do with the Australian side,as appalling as CA have been, highlighted by Argus.I oppose the idea that technique is more relevant than stamina,an excellent game plan,courage & the will to mentally impose oneself on the ball & bowler.Certainty is the goal & uncertainty the enemy.On his debut,I identified a flaw in Khawaja's trigger movements that prevents consistency.At times he shuffles up to twice across his stumps & at others reaches.If anyone can correct it,Lehmann can.Khawja's County stint has been terrible & form slump protracted,his average falling from 53 to 42.He has shown enough IMO to suggest perserverance.' Class' is the adjective people most often use in modern times to fill the void where success & performance should exist but doesnt.

  • Paul_Rampley on June 30, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    @CricHorizon, well said mate, many people forget that he was shield batsman of the year for 2010

  • ozwriter on June 29, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    good move for Khawaja, and good luck for Queensland. I agree with Mat_McIntosh, Khawaja has been one of the best players on the domestic years with a recent form probably not unrelated to being in and out of the national team. Remember he was the 2010 shield cricket batsman of the year. he is a class act and should make his way into the Australian ODI and Test teams.

  • Mary_786 on June 29, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Ken McCarron, Khawaja was NSW's best batsman in 2010 and 2011, last year he only played 4 games due to his Aus games. Steve Smith is not even close to Khawaja, he is at best a good 20 20 player. Wishing Khawaja all the best for this move and I am predicting he will back in the ashes side with some strong performances for QLD.

  • zenboomerang on July 2, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    @gpm86... Agree - Khawaja & Hughes have both been coached under the NSW system where both left handers have turned from good players into average players - Hughes has stated that his only coach is his personal coack yet both he & Ussie have somehow turned into front-on batsmen under their tutelage which has greatly comprimised their their whole game & left their defensive game open to easy exploitation... Seems hyclass & meety have great credentials that are unproven if not bs... meety jokes about his FC average... Hard to tell them apart - lol...

  • MenFromMarts on July 2, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Now Kurtis Patterson will shine in the NSW colours. Hope he doesn't get poached as he is an amazing bat. Still think NSW now need an old head in the batting line up. Could RT Ponting be a chance ? Now that would be a NSW coup.

  • gpm86 on July 2, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    @hyclass- hanging around a bowling coach, doesnt make you a coach of any sort. no need to blow ur own whistle mate.

    All young players have flaws in their game that need to be worked on. but horizon is right in saying that a number of professionals have identified him as a talent, regardless of a flaw which they are working to fix.

  • hyclass on July 1, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    @CricHorizon..I'm yet to see any specific refuting data from you.At the time of my observations,Khawaja had a 1st Class ave of 53.That has subsequently fallen to 42.His Test average is 29 & his S/R very low.He hasnt passed 36 in any of his last 12 innings.Those flaws I identified have since been commented on by players,journalists & coaches in recent articles on this site.They describe him walking himself front on.If you were correct in any of your observations,then his record would be rising,not falling as it has done for some considerable time.This article makes it clear that he knocked on QLD's door-not the other way around as was the case with the other named players.I observed there was enough in his early record to encourage perserverence.His current game continues to fail at 1st Class level.Lehmann is one of the greats & his best hope.I once bowled to Lehmann during a coaching session at Bat & Ball in Melbourne.Saker,the Eng bowling coach used to play cards at my house.

  • RandyOZ on July 1, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Khawaja, like most players, is a confidence player, and his appalling treatment by CA hasn't helped. He does seem a bit soft though and if he were to knuckle down and put the hours in the nets I am certain he will reach his potential.

  • ozwriter on July 1, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    thanks LewisEdwards, this is a great move for Khawaja and I think he will do well under the tutelage of Lehman. Imagine the batting combination with Lynn, Forrest and Khawaja. Khawaja should be in australian colours soon! and some of the arm chair critics on technique, you would think they were retired batting coaches or something. when renowned international observers and commentator like ponting, chris gayle, and graeme smith speak highly of khawaja's talent, technique and maturity; i'm not sure that the nonsensical rants of a few should cloud the discussion.

  • hyclass on June 30, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    Khawaja may struggle to command a place in the QLD side.It's interesting that the article describes him as approaching QLD rather than the opposite, as seen with respect to the other batsmen and bowlers named.Khawaja's form slump has little to do with the Australian side,as appalling as CA have been, highlighted by Argus.I oppose the idea that technique is more relevant than stamina,an excellent game plan,courage & the will to mentally impose oneself on the ball & bowler.Certainty is the goal & uncertainty the enemy.On his debut,I identified a flaw in Khawaja's trigger movements that prevents consistency.At times he shuffles up to twice across his stumps & at others reaches.If anyone can correct it,Lehmann can.Khawja's County stint has been terrible & form slump protracted,his average falling from 53 to 42.He has shown enough IMO to suggest perserverance.' Class' is the adjective people most often use in modern times to fill the void where success & performance should exist but doesnt.

  • Paul_Rampley on June 30, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    @CricHorizon, well said mate, many people forget that he was shield batsman of the year for 2010

  • ozwriter on June 29, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    good move for Khawaja, and good luck for Queensland. I agree with Mat_McIntosh, Khawaja has been one of the best players on the domestic years with a recent form probably not unrelated to being in and out of the national team. Remember he was the 2010 shield cricket batsman of the year. he is a class act and should make his way into the Australian ODI and Test teams.

  • Mary_786 on June 29, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Ken McCarron, Khawaja was NSW's best batsman in 2010 and 2011, last year he only played 4 games due to his Aus games. Steve Smith is not even close to Khawaja, he is at best a good 20 20 player. Wishing Khawaja all the best for this move and I am predicting he will back in the ashes side with some strong performances for QLD.

  • Paul_Rampley on June 29, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @stevens Andrews you are on the mark mate, its fantastic to see Khawaja come to QLD, and love the new batting lineup with Forrest, Burns, Lynn and Khawaja together, the batting which was a weakness for QLD is now their strength. Good luck to Khawaja, he is a champion young batsman

  • on June 29, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    I disagree with those who think Ussie was NSW's best bat over the last three years. He was awful last year and Steve Smith was miles ahead in where it matters - performance. But Ussie needs to work hard on his game. He has a reputation for being a slack trainer and the Aussie selectors want his fielding to improve.Haritz was never going to be first choice spinner with Steve O'Keefe as captain and SOK is a better batsman and bowler. The question that really needs to be asked is: Why can't other states produce decent cricketers?There are heaps of good young fast bowlers in NSW, several classy keepers and lots of batsmen on the horizon who are better than Hughes or Khawaja such as Maddinson and Patterson.

  • on June 29, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    while hoping that this will improve the quality of Aussies batsmanship overall, team NSW will be deinfitely struggle to cover for such 4 batsmen of the highest class

  • Dashgar on June 29, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    That team Buckers said with Al McDermott in for McGoffin. Not sure about the batting order, Khawaja should be number 3 so one of the others probably needs to step up. Might even be a job for Hopes or Hartley in to help out the young batting lineup, either that or bring back Ryan Broad and let the young kids fight out for 3, 4 and 5. Competition for places will do them good.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 29, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    agreed with Cummins_Pattinson about faulkner . @Buckers410 mate Magoffin has retired from aus cricket.

  • on June 29, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    Players leaving NSW is the best possible thing for Aussie cricket, there hav been too many good players sitting on the bench in nsw for years, with hughes, khawaja, katich and jaques moving interstate or oversees it lets some younger guys in nsw get some matches. Kurtis Patterson(made a century on debut & hasnt played since) certainly wont be sitting on the bench this season he will be needed out in the middle!! and for QLD its great to hav khawaja and haurits they will fit in really nicely, QLD team looks strong now

  • AKS286 on June 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    WESTERN AUSTRALIA is BEST.

  • Sunil_Batra on June 29, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Great move for Khawaja, good luck to him and hope he gets back in the Aussie team soon where he belongs.

  • tasliskr on June 29, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    queensland made perfect signings this year .........and would be a gr8 competitor in this domestic season.quality guns needed in nsw.........hope they would find a way..

  • on June 29, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    nsw to finish last in sheffield shield

  • Hippiantor on June 29, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    Qld is going to be extremely hard to beat this season! Lehman seems to have an amazing effect on the bulls both on and off the field. @Buckers410 good team but I think McGoffin has retired, maybe McDermott instead.

  • Mary_786 on June 29, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    @Buckers410 and @Cummins_pattinson, you are spot on, this is a great signing for QLD, he will be their best batsman as he averages 100+ at the GABBA and the GABBA pitch for shield matches is one of the more difficult pitches to bat on. As a NSW fan i am dissapointed to see him leave as he was our best shield batsman for the last 3 years, Good luck Uzy.

  • bobagorof on June 29, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Will this see a new round of moaning from non-NSW states about Australian player selection? Bit hard to complain, though, if you're grabbing former Test players from NSW to supplement your squad. On a different note, it will be interesting to see how Steve Smith goes this season, with the NSW batting relying on him (no other 'big names' to bat around) and possibly a higher workload with the ball. I always thought that too much was expected too soon, but his development seems to have stalled of late. The added responsibility could be just what he needs; conversely, the expectations may end up being too much.

  • Chris_P on June 29, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Good luck to Khawaja wherever he goes. His talent is evident and perhaps this move will inject him to where he should rightfully end up if he measures up to his potential.

  • Sunil_Batra on June 29, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    @ Cummins_Pattinson agree with you mate, this is a great move for Khawaja and I think he will shine under Lehman and will be back in the Aussie side before the Ashes. Can't wait to see Khawaja bat with Forrest and Lynn, fantastic batting combination. NSW has lost their best batsman.

  • on June 29, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    As a queenslanderI'im happy to see talent coming north, however i hope hauritz doesn't force boyce out of the side as i believe that he is going to be the next test leggie for Australia

  • Scgboy on June 29, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    while I really do wish them the best l, and hope they do well . Australia needs to reboot its batting stocks . As a new south Welshman , this mass exodus from the team , doesn't bode well.

  • maddinson on June 29, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    now Queensland have Khawaj, Forrest, Burns and Lynn in their batting order. Easily the best batting line up in shield cricket. Surprised with Haurtiz joining Queensland as this may affect the development of Boyce (young leggie) as one of either Haurtiz or Boyce (more likely being lesser experienced) miss out in playing XI. On a positive note good opportunity for Maddinson and Patterson as both will get regular place in playing XI.

  • maddinson on June 29, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    Personally I want Faulkner to join Victoria, I am little disappointed that he doesn't get to share new ball in Tasmania which is very essential to Faulkner's development as top allrounder for Australia along with Mitch Marsh.

  • Buckers410 on June 29, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    Great signing for Qld. Will be a star and will score heaps of runs. Perfect opportunity for Khawaja to become the opener he always was meant to be. Great job Bulls and Darren Lehman. Great looking side on paper. 1 Khawaja 2 Townsend 3 Burns 4 Forrest 5 Lynn 6 Hopes 7 Hartley 8 Hauritz/Boyce 9 Cutting 10 Harris 11 McGoffin

  • Masud_BITK on June 29, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    It is good to see that quality players are moving around Australia but not sticking on one state.This is good sign of Australian domestic cricket competition. Well done By Phil who showed the way. Phil and Khawaja are both new leaders of Australia. They have plenty of cricket in them. I am exciting and waiting to see a team from ACT.

  • on June 29, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    This is perfect for Qld. we are going to be so strong in the coming seasons. we now have a good off spinner and good leg spinner. no doubt our strength has been our quick bowlers, so this adds variety and strength to our bowling lineup. with Khawaja to go with Forrest, Burns, Lynn and co our batting is now strong. not many weaknesses now in this bulls lineup.

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  • on June 29, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    This is perfect for Qld. we are going to be so strong in the coming seasons. we now have a good off spinner and good leg spinner. no doubt our strength has been our quick bowlers, so this adds variety and strength to our bowling lineup. with Khawaja to go with Forrest, Burns, Lynn and co our batting is now strong. not many weaknesses now in this bulls lineup.

  • Masud_BITK on June 29, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    It is good to see that quality players are moving around Australia but not sticking on one state.This is good sign of Australian domestic cricket competition. Well done By Phil who showed the way. Phil and Khawaja are both new leaders of Australia. They have plenty of cricket in them. I am exciting and waiting to see a team from ACT.

  • Buckers410 on June 29, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    Great signing for Qld. Will be a star and will score heaps of runs. Perfect opportunity for Khawaja to become the opener he always was meant to be. Great job Bulls and Darren Lehman. Great looking side on paper. 1 Khawaja 2 Townsend 3 Burns 4 Forrest 5 Lynn 6 Hopes 7 Hartley 8 Hauritz/Boyce 9 Cutting 10 Harris 11 McGoffin

  • maddinson on June 29, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    Personally I want Faulkner to join Victoria, I am little disappointed that he doesn't get to share new ball in Tasmania which is very essential to Faulkner's development as top allrounder for Australia along with Mitch Marsh.

  • maddinson on June 29, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    now Queensland have Khawaj, Forrest, Burns and Lynn in their batting order. Easily the best batting line up in shield cricket. Surprised with Haurtiz joining Queensland as this may affect the development of Boyce (young leggie) as one of either Haurtiz or Boyce (more likely being lesser experienced) miss out in playing XI. On a positive note good opportunity for Maddinson and Patterson as both will get regular place in playing XI.

  • Scgboy on June 29, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    while I really do wish them the best l, and hope they do well . Australia needs to reboot its batting stocks . As a new south Welshman , this mass exodus from the team , doesn't bode well.

  • on June 29, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    As a queenslanderI'im happy to see talent coming north, however i hope hauritz doesn't force boyce out of the side as i believe that he is going to be the next test leggie for Australia

  • Sunil_Batra on June 29, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    @ Cummins_Pattinson agree with you mate, this is a great move for Khawaja and I think he will shine under Lehman and will be back in the Aussie side before the Ashes. Can't wait to see Khawaja bat with Forrest and Lynn, fantastic batting combination. NSW has lost their best batsman.

  • Chris_P on June 29, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Good luck to Khawaja wherever he goes. His talent is evident and perhaps this move will inject him to where he should rightfully end up if he measures up to his potential.

  • bobagorof on June 29, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Will this see a new round of moaning from non-NSW states about Australian player selection? Bit hard to complain, though, if you're grabbing former Test players from NSW to supplement your squad. On a different note, it will be interesting to see how Steve Smith goes this season, with the NSW batting relying on him (no other 'big names' to bat around) and possibly a higher workload with the ball. I always thought that too much was expected too soon, but his development seems to have stalled of late. The added responsibility could be just what he needs; conversely, the expectations may end up being too much.