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May 8, 2006
New South Wales' slow bowling stocks have received another boost with Beau Casson, the left-arm wrist spinner, announcing today he will leave Western Australia. Casson was the Warriors' first-choice ahead of the one-day international Brad Hogg in the Pura Cup last summer, but he has decided to fight for a spot in Sydney alongside Stuart MacGill, Jason Krejza and Nathan Hauritz, who is also chasing greater opportunities.
Tony Dodemaide, the Western Australia chief executive, was disappointed to lose Casson, who took 17 wickets at 54.23 in the Pura Cup in 2005-06. "If Beau wants to go to the next level, he won't do that by bowling in the nets in Sydney," Dodemaide said. "We pulled out all stops to try to convince him to stay. I think he will struggle to get more opportunities ahead of MacGill and Hauritz than he would for WA where he is the No. 1 choice in first-class cricket."
MacGill is the Blues' main spinning weapon while Steve O'Keefe and Krejza filled the support roles last summer. Last week Hauritz opted to move south after being attracted by the state's "spin bowling culture".
"The prospect of having left- and right-arm wrist spinners is exciting," Trevor Bayliss, the NSW coach, told AFP. "Our spin bowling stocks at that level haven't been all that deep, but with Beau coming and quite possibly Nathan, it creates some competition.
"One of the reasons we went after Beau is the SCG wicket is conducive to wrist-spin bowling. We think Beau has got that potential to go further than just state cricket. He's the right age."
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