South Australia news April 24, 2014

Jake Lehmann contracted by South Australia

South Australia have rewarded Jake Lehmann, the son of Australia's coach Darren Lehmann, with his first state rookie contract after strong performances in last summer's Futures League.

Lehmann's inclusion in the SA squad followed his compiling of 255 runs at 36.42, with a top score of 92, in four Futures League matches.

He joined Sam Raphael and Trent Lawford among the final additions to SA's squad for next season, for which the loss of Michael Klinger to Western Australia will be compensated by Mark Cosgrove's return from Tasmania.

Cosgrove is the only interstate addition to the squad, which will again rely heavily on the spin bowling and leadership of the South African Johan Botha in the push to win SA's first Sheffield Shield title since 1996.

However a batting line-up of Cosgrove, Phillip Hughes, Callum Ferguson, Tom Cooper, Andrew McDonald and Travis Head should ensure swift runs for the Redbacks.

"We want a team where players are battling for positions and no-one's spot is guaranteed. With the batting list we have this season, we have a huge amount of depth to draw upon and competition is going to be intense," said SACA's high performance manager Jamie Cox.

"Last year we finished just one wicket away from the final and have a number of players who took huge strides in terms of development. We believe the stability we have offered this group will be a huge advantage for us as we chase our first Sheffield Shield title in 19 years."

The major obstacle to the Redbacks' progress in 2014-15 would appear to be the drop-in pitch at Adelaide Oval, which reaped four draws in addition to another stalemate at Glenelg Oval as the redeveloped ground completed its makeover.

SA won three matches outright away from home, and were strongly placed to win a fourth before Usman Khawaja guided an outstanding fourth innings chase by Queensland at the Gabba.

Apart from Klinger, others not to have their state contracts renewed included Alex Carey, Sam Miller, Elliot Opie and the tall pace bowler Peter George, who played one Test match for Australia against India in Bangalore in 2010.

South Australia squad: Johan Botha, Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head, Phil Hughes (CA), Trent Lawford, Tim Ludeman, Andrew McDonald, Joe Mennie, Gary Putland, Sam Raphael, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Kelvin Smith, Dan Worrall, Adam Zampa. Rookies: Tom Andrews, Alex Gregory, Jake Lehmann, Alex Ross, Nick Winter

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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