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Queensland take a chance on Pomersbach

Brydon Coverdale

July 4, 2012

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

Luke Pomersbach watches the ball onto the bat, Queensland v Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, Brisbane, March 10, 2010
Queensland will give Luke Pomersbach a chance next summer © Getty Images

Luke Pomersbach has been given a chance to resume his troubled Australian career after Queensland signed him on a one-year contract. The Bulls have become the first state to finalise their squad for 2012-13 with Pomersbach, Usman Khawaja and Nathan Hauritz the major inclusions, while several regular state players including Ryan Broad and Ben Dunk lost their deals.

The recruitment of Pomersbach from Western Australia is a gamble, because despite his prodigious talent he has made more headlines for his actions off the field than on it. He was suspended four times by the WACA, and was serving one of those suspensions when he was unexpectedly called up to play for Australia in a Twenty20 in 2007 when Brad Hodge injured his back shortly before the game.

In 2009, Pomersbach escaped a jail sentence when he admitted to assaulting a police officer and drink driving, but his problems didn't end there. Before the start of last season, he missed a practice match following a drinking binge and subsequently announced that he would take the summer off from representing Western Australia in an effort to address his issues.

Most recently, he was charged with assault in India this year when a US national alleged that Pomersbach, who played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL, assaulted her and her fiancé in their room at a Delhi hotel. The case was withdrawn after an out-of-court settlement. Trevor Hohns, the Queensland chairman of selectors, said the state would provide Pomersbach with plenty of support.

"Everyone knows the history behind Luke - that's been well documented," Hohns told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday. "It's very easy to discard people but we are here to help. We will back our environment to bring out the best in him. The staff here are all right behind him and I trust his management who encouraged him to come to Queensland will play their part to keep him on the straight and narrow."

Despite his many problems, Pomersbach, 27, has shown glimpses of his talent on the field and averages 40.59 in first-class cricket. The Bulls have decided to hand him a career lifeline after he moved to Brisbane last summer to play club cricket while still contracted to the Warriors, and he is one of 25 men who will make up the Queensland core group next summer, including rookies.

The Bulls have locked a number of players in for two-year deals, including Khawaja, Hauritz, Peter Forrest, Joe Burns, Nathan Reardon, Chris Lynn, Cameron Boyce, Ben Cutting, Cameron Gannon, Alister McDermott, Michael Neser, Chris Hartley and the captain James Hopes. However, there was no room for the opening batsman Broad or the wicketkeeper Dunk, both of whom have captained Queensland in the past two seasons.

Also gone from last year's list are Scott Walter, Steve Paulsen and Alex Kemp, while Chris Swan and Steve Magoffin have both retired from Australian cricket. But Hohns said players who had missed out on contracts would still be in contention for selection and for playing deals if they performed during the summer.

"One thing that we as a selection panel, and as a coaching group, have been very strong on is that the performances will be rewarded, whether you are a contracted player or not," Hohns said. "Form in grade cricket and competitions like the KFC T20 Challenge earned several players selection for Queensland last season and we are very comfortable going down that path again.

"A number of good players were not contracted for the coming season but they will still be considered if their form and performances warrant selection. We are very pleased with the quality of the playing group that has been assembled."

Queensland squad James Hopes (capt), Cameron Boyce, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Peter Forrest, Matthew Gale, Cameron Gannon, Chris Hartley, Ryan Harris (CA contract), Nathan Hauritz, Usman Khawaja, Chris Lynn, Alister McDermott, Michael Neser, Luke Pomersbach, Nathan Reardon, Andrew Robinson, Wade Townsend.

Rookies Corey Barsby, Nick Buchanan, Ronan McDonald, James Peirson, Nick Stevens.

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

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Posted by tasliskr on (July 5, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

looks strong........but dunk performed well in previous season ........he would be good in limited overs

Posted by   on (July 5, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

yep, a very strong team and hopefully the year Lynn will show his true potential ...

Posted by Mary_786 on (July 4, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

Great to see Khawaja in the QLD side, he will be their best batsman this season and one to watch out for Aussie selection along with Forrest

Posted by zenboomerang on (July 4, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Well if Pomers can learn to deal with "professional" crickets requirements, he has a lot to give to Qld... He'll have to live up to our attitude of performance - top SS team last summer, state-of-origin champions for yet another year (was boring years ago) against an over rated NSW who also failed in SS cricket... Surprised to hear that Jaques was refused a new contract by the ever fickle admin - guess the same happened to Katich, Hughes, Khawaja, Hauritz...

Posted by maddinson on (July 4, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

probably the most balanced team, surprised to see Walter not being offered a contract by Bulls

Posted by Mervo on (July 4, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Terrific team and they will win the Shield again, two years in a row.

Posted by Meety on (July 4, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

@inxia - injury stuffed him up at the start of the Shield season - (& previous seasons too). It's a shame, because he is/was a great prospect. I rated him a shade behind Cutting, but McDermott is now definately ahead of him.

Posted by inxia on (July 4, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

It's a good looking list. I do feel sorry for Scott Walter, though. He seems to perform most times that he is selected and somehow missed out on Lehmann's revolving door of pace bowlers last year. I would have had him, as a genuine left arm swing bowler, ahead of medium pacers like Neser and Gale. I hope it's not the last we hear of him.

Posted by katandthat3 on (July 4, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

I think Pomersbach will enjoy the new surrounds and apparently went well in grade cricket in QLD last season. Has the talent (like so many others) hopefully he can make the most of the opportunity under Boof, if there's a left hander to tap into the game and mind of, not many better than Boof.

Posted by katandthat3 on (July 4, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

Looks a very tidy squad, especially under the guidance of Boof. Impressed with Gale when I've seen him and I hope to see a continual improvement in Neser who is a very handy allrounder. Feel for Broady but I think he's still good enough to play more state cricket despite his FC record (there are times he's shown way better than that). Interesting to see if McDermott has picked up any more pace from last year. The extra 5-10km/h he gained last season made a big difference. McDonald's parents sailed close to the wind by naming their son Ronan.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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