Allrounder Hayden Kerr handed full New South Wales contract

Pace bowler Ryan Hadley has also earned a contract

Hayden Kerr pulls stylishly, New South Wales vs Tasmania, Sheffield Shield 2021-22, 1st day, Sydney, February 18, 2022

Hayden Kerr has quickly risen up the ranks for New South Wales  •  Getty Images

Emerging allrounder Hayden Kerr has been handed his first full New South Wales contract alongside fast bowler Ryan Hadley.
Kerr impressed across formats in the 2021-22 season, making a half-century on his first-class debut against Victoria followed by 88 against Tasmania, was the one-day player of the season - albeit in a truncated campaign - and was also Sydney Sixers' player of the season in the BBL.
Kerr and Hadley, the latter who has yet to make his first-team debut, replace Harry Conway, after he moved to South Australia, and the retired Peter Nevill.
"Hayden Kerr was one of the stars of the Australian domestic summer and he has thoroughly deserved his opportunity for a Blues contract," Michael Klinger, NSW's head of male cricket, said. "He is 25 and wasn't even on a rookie deal last year so it goes to show if you work hard and produce the right performances when given a chance, anything is possible."
Among the rookie contracts handed out is top-order batter Blake Nikitaras who joined his father Steve as a NSW Sheffield Shield player when he made his debut in the final match of the season, scoring 44 and 56 against South Australia.
"Blake is similar and he took his opportunity in our last Sheffield Shield match with both hands. While he is 22 and older than our other new rookies Lachy Shaw, Will Salzmann and Liam Doddrell, he has demonstrated that a weight of runs or wickets in Premier Cricket, followed up by outstanding 2nd XI performances, can lead to a professional opportunity.
"Our focus on development and growth will further allow these players and others like Ryan Hadley, who earned an upgraded contract, to continue their progression to have a long term sustainable professional cricketer career."
New South Wales finished fourth in the Sheffield Shield last season and lost in the final of the Marsh Cup against Western Australia having only been able to complete two of their six regular-season matches due to the weather.
In the Shield their batting was particularly underwhelming with just two centuries - one apiece from Jason Sangha and Kurtis Patterson - and only three batters who played more than a single match averaging over 30.
New South Wales men's squad Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Pat Cummins (CA), Oliver Davies, Liam Doddrell (Rookie), Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Ryan Hackney, Ryan Hadley, Liam Hatcher, Josh Hazlewood (CA), Lachlan Hearne, Moises Henriques, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon (CA), Blake Nikitaras (Rookie), Jack Nisbet (Rookie), Kurtis Patterson, Will Salzmann (Rookie), Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Lachlan Shaw (Rookie), Steven Smith (CA), Mitchell Starc (CA), Chris Tremain, Hunar Verma (Rookie), David Warner (CA), Adam Zampa (CA)
In Liam Doddrell, Ryan Hadley, Hayden Kerr, Blake Nikitaras, Lachlan Shaw, Will Salzmann | Out Josh Baraba, Harry Conway (SA), Peter Nevill (retired)