Queensland wicketkeeper Chris Hartley will miss his first Sheffield Shield match in nearly 10 years after breaking a finger while batting in club cricket at the weekend. Hartley is expected to be sidelined for at least three weeks by the injury, which will allow gloveman Jimmy Peirson to play his first Sheffield Shield game, against South Australia at Adelaide Oval starting on Saturday.
Opening batsman Joe Burns will captain Queensland for the first time in the absence of state captain Usman Khawaja and Hartley, the regular stand-in. Hartley's injury - a fracture to the middle finger of his left hand - comes at a time when he was displaying strong batting form: in his past three Shield innings he had made 102*, 15* and 86*, and has 460 runs at 92.00 this Shield season.
Hartley recently went past Darren Berry as the owner of the most wicketkeeping dismissals in Shield history, and in his most recent match completed the rare feat of 100 consecutive Shield games. Last time Hartley missed a Shield match was October 2007, when Murray Bragg replaced him behind the stumps against Tasmania at the Gabba in what became the only first-class match of Bragg's career.
Although Hartley is expected to miss at least two matches, he could yet return for the final regular-season match against Victoria, starting at the Gabba on March 16. He will be joined on the sidelines for this week's match by fast bowler Michael Neser, who injured his ankle while playing club cricket at the weekend and will be replaced in the squad by Luke Feldman, who has recovered from a side strain.
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Seb Gotch is set to make his first-class debut in Victoria's game against Western Australia in Perth, also starting on Saturday. Gotch has been called in to replace Sam Harper, who suffered concussion during the previous game when he was struck in the head by Jake Lehmann's bat.
Harper is still being monitored in hospital, but Cricket Victoria said his condition was improving and there was a chance he would be released from hospital later this week.
Queensland squad Joe Burns (capt), Peter Forrest, Marnus Labuschagne, Sam Heazlett, Sam Truloff, Jack Wildermuth, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Jason Floros, Mark Steketee, Peter George, Cameron Gannon, Luke Feldman.
Victoria squad Marcus Harris, Travis Dean, Marcus Stoinis, Rob Quiney, Aaron Finch, Cameron White (capt), Daniel Christian, Seb Gotch (wk), James Pattinson, Chris Tremain, Scott Boland, Jon Holland.