Australia news July 6, 2012

Victoria keep faith with veteran Rogers

The veteran opener Chris Rogers has been offered a new contract with Victoria, a month after he spoke of his concerns at potentially being delisted by the state. Victoria's coach Greg Shipperd said that Rogers' position on the contract list had been carefully considered, but it was decided that he still had plenty to offer the Bushrangers this summer.

Rogers, who turns 35 next month, remains a prolific scorer for Middlesex in county cricket and is fourth on the division one run tally this year, and last season he was sixth on the Sheffield Shield run list with 781 at 41.10. However, the Bushrangers are also keen to give greater opportunities to a younger batch of batsmen, including Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Ryan Carters, Michael Hill and Alex Keath, and Shipperd said selections this season would not necessarily be straightforward.

"It is about finding that delicate balance between experience and youth, and opportunities for the younger players coming through," Shipperd said. "We thought long and hard about that and ultimately Chris has been offered a contract and our understanding is he will take that. He has been a wonderful player for four years for us and put the icing on the cake of a group that was really going places some four seasons ago.

"In his first two seasons with us [we had] Shield final wins, and he's been a great contributor, he's been a great mentor and coach around the group with his cricket knowledge. He's one that opposition bowlers don't like to bowl to and we're happy to have him in our squad.

"It is from our point of view about finding that balance of opportunity and Chris is aware of those challenges in our group. He's got his sights on perhaps being an Australian player still and probably also transitioning in the last couple of years of his cricket career into a coaching role. He's got an interest in that area and we have access all areas for him in terms of developing those skills."

The Bushrangers have named their squad for next summer and unlike most other states this year it is a group with few changes from last season, with no imports and no major defections. The only additions to the full contract list were Handscomb and the fast bowler Scott Boland, both of whom held rookie deals last season.

The allrounder Meyrick Buchanan, who is in Australia's squad for the Under-19 World Cup this year, has been handed a rookie contract, as has the legspinner James Muirhead, who played for the Adelaide Strikers last season. The squad will also feature Ian Holland, who earned a special rookie deal as the winner of the reality TV show Cricket Superstar.

Brad Hodge and Mark Cleary are both gone from last year's list, having retired, while the fast bowler Steven Gilmour and the rookie batsman Brett Forsyth were not offered new contracts. Victoria were able to maintain a consistent list as they were not hit as hard as some states by the reduction in Cricket Australia contracts, with four men on national deals, only one fewer than last year.

Victoria squad Scott Boland, Ryan Carters, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Jon Holland, David Hussey (Cricket Australia contract), Alex Keath, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Clint McKay, Darren Pattinson, James Pattinson (CA), Rob Quiney, Chris Rogers, Will Sheridan, Peter Siddle (CA), Matthew Wade (CA), Cameron White Rookies Meyrick Buchanan, James Muirhead, Steven Reid Cricket Australia rookie Ian Holland.

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

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