Victoria reward Nic Maddinson with a full state contract
Nic Maddinson's reinvention from enfant terrible in New South Wales to reliable first-class run-maker in Victoria has been rewarded with a full contract for his adopted state, a year after he was unceremoniously dumped by the Blues and moved south to Melbourne with the promise only of a Big Bash League deal with the Melbourne Stars.
Though injury took away sizeable portions of his season, Maddinson still returned more runs (563) and centuries (three) from five matches for the Shield-winning Victorian side than in any of his eight seasons with NSW.
These performances made Maddinson, at 27, a clear choice for a state contract as part of the group chosen by Victoria for 2019-20, its confirmation arriving a day after long-serving former captain Cameron White was publicly retired from the state.
Maddinson, who played Test cricket without success in 2016-17, will be hopeful that he can emulate the ex-West Australian Marcus Harris, another left-hander who ventured to Victoria in search of a fresh start and found fortune in the system overseen by coach Andrew McDonald.
"Our results last season were outstanding and we saw the year as a real step forward in the evolution of the squad. We gave some younger guys opportunities, which they took, and we'll be looking to build on that this season," Victoria's cricket manager Shaun Graf said. "Nic Maddinson was one of the great stories from last season as was the performance of Andrew Fekete at key times and they both bring great experience to the list.
"We're also looking forward to watching the next stage of development in our younger players like Will Sutherland, Mackenzie Harvey and Tom O'Connell, who alongside Will Pucovski are developing strongly. Overall, we are very well placed to meet the demands of the many state and national commitments that will arise over the season."
The fast bowler Wes Agar and spinner Sam Grimwade were the others not offered contracts for next season, while Fekete earned his first fully-fledged deal after moving north from Tasmania.
Victorian Men's 2019-20 squad Aaron Ayre, Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Xavier Crone, Travis Dean, Zak Evans, Andrew Fekete, Aaron Finch, Sebastian Gotch, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Tom O'Connell, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Jake Reed, Matthew Short, Peter Siddle, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Eamonn Vines. Rookies: Sam Elliott, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Jonathan Merlo, Ed Newman, Mitchell Perry, Patrick Rowe
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig