Queensland could be able to field a formidable batting line-up in the early stages of next season with current and recent internationals jostling with up-coming state talent.
Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne should be available until the Test summer starts and will join captain Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Bryce Street and Sam Heazlett among the top-order options as well as 20-year-old Max Bryant who made his first-class debut late last season, although the depth will be needed when Burns and Labuchagne depart.
Street has earned his first full contract after having a rookie deal last year following a solid start in Sheffield Shield cricket where he made 489 runs at 37.61 with his ability to bat long periods of time standing out as he scored two centuries, both coming against Western Australia. Two weeks before his first-class debut he made the highest individual total in Australian 2nd XI cricket with 345 against Victoria.
Khawaja will be looking to prove to the Australia selectors that he warrants a recall to the Test side after he was dropped during last year's Ashes and subsequently lost his central contract in April. Renshaw, meanwhile, has drifting down the national pecking order after a promising start to his Test career.
"I think the biggest thing for me is making sure I'm consistently scoring runs, and if I am no-one can drop me and if I bang the door down they have to pick me, and I'm doing well for my state and winning cricket games," Khawaja said. "That's the most important thing, but in the end there are somethings you can control and some things you can't control and I've learned that from a long experience of playing cricket, being dropped, I've been dropped probably more than anyone has I reckon, that's playing at the moment."
Batting has been Queensland's weakness in recent seasons and they have the lowest collective batting average in the last two summers - albeit conditions at the Gabba can be challenge - although last summer's return of four individual hundreds was an improvement on 2018-19 where they managed just one hundred in the Shield.
"We're pleased that Joe and Marnus have pushed up into the Australian ranks and know that Usman still has much to offer to the national set-up,'' coach Wade Seccombe said. "It has been a different pre-season for the group and this summer will no doubt provide us with some unique challenges, but it also presents some exciting opportunities for us all."
Jack Wood, a 23-year-old left-arm wristspinner, is another handed his first full contract after impressive club and 2nd XI returns.
Cameron Gannon, the leading wicket-taker in the Shield last season, has moved to Western Australia and Charlie Hemphrey has dropped off the list and moved to Glamorgan in county cricket.
Queensland squad Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Joe Burns*, Brendan Doggett, Blake Edwards, Sam Heazlett, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne*, Nathan McSweeney, Michael Neser, Lachlan Pfeffer, Jimmy Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Billy Stanlake, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth, Jack Wood
Rookies Corey Hunter, Jack Clayton, Benji Floros, Matthew Willans, Connor Sully