Western Australia have finalised their squad for next summer, with the Tasmanian wicketkeeper Tom Triffitt and the young Victorian spinner Ashton Agar the only imports from outside the state. The fast bowlers Jason Behrendorff and Matt Dixon were upgraded from rookie deals to full contracts, as was the batsman Tom Beaton.
The opening batsman Wes Robinson was not offered a new contract after a disappointing summer in which he averaged less than 30, while Michael Johnson and Martin Paskal were also dropped. The Warriors had already lost the fast bowlers Mark Cameron and Brad Knowles to retirement, and the batsman Luke Pomersbach is also gone from the squad after being handed a deal by Queensland.
The other departure was of Luke Ronchi, who is pursuing a career in his country of birth, New Zealand, and it was his absence that opened the door for Triffitt to move from Tasmania. But Triffitt, 21, won't have it all his own way behind the stumps with two young glovemen, Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman, signed on as rookies.
Bancroft, Whiteman, Will Bosisto and Ashton Turner are all new additions to the rookie list and they will all be part of Australia's squad at the Under-19 World Cup, to be held in Queensland in August. Agar, an 18-year-old left-arm spinner, is also part of the World Cup squad and has been signed to a full contract, joining Michael Beer as the only specialist spinners on the 17-man list.
"Ashton Agar has been recruited with a view to increasing our spin bowling options and he will team up with Michael Beer," Lachlan Stevens, the Western Australia coach, said. "Allrounder Ashton Turner is also a promising spin option and the competition for spots between that trio will be similar to what is being created with our three wicketkeepers, and that's what we are after.
"Essentially we are hoping our senior players can create a new legacy for the Warriors brand by being competitive with the best sides in Australia and showing leadership with their on and off-field responsibilities."
Western Australia have also named a 10-man development squad, designed to provide opportunities for players sitting just outside the contract list. The former Test batsman and coach Geoff Marsh will head the development squad, which includes former state squad members Jake Fawcett, Drew Porter and Luke Towers, as well as the former Tasmania batsman John Rogers and the former New South Wales allrounder Tim Armstrong.
Western Australia squad Ashton Agar, Tom Beaton, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Travis Birt, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Davis, Matthew Dixon, Ryan Duffield, Marcus Harris, Michael Hogan, Michael Hussey (CA contract), Mitchell Johnson (CA contract), Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Marcus North, Nathan Rimmington, Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges.
Rookies Cameron Bancroft, William Bosisto, Joel Paris, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman.