Australia news July 6, 2012

South Australia cull six from contract list

ESPNcricinfo staff

Long-term South Australia players Daniel Harris, Cameron Borgas and Aaron O'Brien have all lost their state deals after the Redbacks pruned their contract list significantly, having failed to win a Sheffield Shield match last summer. South Australia have also cut the allrounder Theo Doropoulos and the fast bowler Mick Delaney, while the batsman Aiden Blizzard has signed a two-year deal with Tasmania after the Redbacks did not offer him a new contract.

South Australia have named a 16-man squad for next summer, including their only Cricket Australia-contracted player, Nathan Lyon. The Redbacks had already announced their major inclusions, the new captain Johan Botha, and the former Test opener Phillip Hughes from New South Wales, while the fast bowler Joe Mennie has been upgraded to a full contract from the rookie list.

Mennie, 23, was one of the first-class success stories for South Australia last summer, collecting 23 wickets at 26.26 in his maiden season of Sheffield Shield cricket. Daniel Worrall, a fast bowler from the Melbourne Cricket Club, has been handed a rookie deal, while the batsmen Travis Head and Alex Ross have also been added to the rookie list. Last year's rookies Ben Dougall and Tom Thornton have been dropped.

The Redbacks won the Ryobi Cup last season but are desperate for improvement in the longer format, having won only one Shield match over the past two summers. Jamie Cox, the state's director of cricket, said South Australia were happy with the balance of their squad.

"It is no secret that we are delighted with the new additions of an international captain in Johan Botha, and a player with Australian Test experience in Phillip Hughes," Cox said. "To retain the rest of our list is a fantastic result for South Australia and we believe we have a squad that is capable of some exciting cricket in the coming summer."

South Australia squad Cullen Bailey, Johan Botha, Daniel Christian, Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Peter George, Jake Haberfield, Phillip Hughes, Michael Klinger, Tim Ludeman, Nathan Lyon (Cricket Australia contract), Joe Mennie, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, James Smith. Rookies Travis Head, Elliot Opie, Alex Ross, Daniel Worrall.