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April 23, 2014
Tasmania have offered the former Australia Under-19 captain Michael Hill a chance to emulate the likes of Ed Cowan and Michael Klinger by making the most of a new start, after a stuttering career in his home state of Victoria.
Though highly rated when moving through the junior ranks - he also led Victoria to the Under-19 national title in 2007 - Hill has never quite managed to make a state place his own with the Bushrangers, a pair of first-class centuries the high points over the course of 19 appearances that have tallied 823 runs at 26.54.
These figures are remarkably similar to those of Cowan with New South Wales before he too made the move south to Tasmania as a fringe left-handed batsman, and soon carved out a top order niche that ultimately led to Test selection.
Klinger, recently signed by Western Australia, was likewise the beneficiary of a move away from home, building on a mediocre record in Victoria with numerous strong years with South Australia. At 25, Hill was looking for fresh pastures after the Bushrangers chose not to include him on their list for 2014-15.
Andrew Dykes, the Tasmania general manager of cricket, said Hill is "a proven top order batsman and has an incredible amount of talent". His chance was opened up partly by Mark Cosgrove's decision to move back home to South Australia following his own successful stint with the Tigers.
Elsewhere the Tigers were ultimately able to retain the services of Cowan, Tim Paine, Alex Doolan and Ben Hilfenhaus, though none were named in the state's initial contract list.
Cowan and his family are set to spend more time living in their hometown of Sydney, but flexible living arrangements will allow the opener to stay with Tasmania after he pondered signing with NSW.
Like Cowan, Hilfenhaus returns to the Tigers' contract list after losing his CA deal, while Doolan will hope to be upgraded to a central contract with further national appearances after a promising start at No. 3 on the testing battlegrounds of South Africa.
Aiden Blizzard, Adam Maher, Ben Laughlin and Steve Cazzulino are among the Tigers players not offered new state contracts for the coming summer.
Tasmania squad: George Bailey (CA), Jackson Bird, Luke Butterworth, Ed Cowan, Xavier Doherty, Alex Doolan, Ben Dunk, James Faulkner (CA), Andrew Fekete, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hill, Hamish Kingston, Dominic Michael, Tim Paine, Sam Rainbird, Clive Rose, Jordan Silk, Timm van der Gugten, Jon Wells. Rookies: Gabe Bell, Ryan Lees, Beau Webster, Sean Willis
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettigFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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