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News

Kuhnemann leaves Queensland, Burns not offered a contract

Kuhnemann set to join Tasmania after not playing any Shield cricket last summer while Burns was left off the contract list as Queensland opt to promote youth

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
19-Apr-2024
Matthew Kuhnemann roars after pinning Virat Kohli lbw, India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Indore, 2nd day, March 2, 2023

Matthew Kuhnemann roars after pinning Virat Kohli lbw  •  BCCI

Left-arm orthodox Test spinner Matthew Kuhnemann has left Queensland and is set to head to Tasmania in a bid to play more first-class cricket to put himself in the frame for the tour of Sri Lanka, while former Test opener Joe Burns has not been offered a contract as Queensland revamp their list after a poor season.
Kuhnemann, 27, played three Tests for Australia last year on the tour of India after being flown in following the first Test defeat and he took 5 for 16 in Australia's sole victory in Indore.
But since that Test appearance he has not played a single Sheffield Shield match for Queensland, and no first-class matches since an appearance for Australia A last September, with the Bulls preferring legspinner Mitchell Swepson as their No.1 spinner. The conditions in Brisbane, and in Shield cricket generally, have not been conducive to picking two spinners in the same XI meaning Kuhnemann's only appearances for Queensland were in the Marsh Cup, and the only red-ball cricket he played was for Queensland's Second XI and for his Queensland premier club Gold Coast.
Kuhnemann is set to move to Tasmania to become their No.1 spinner in Shield and Marsh Cup cricket and will strengthen Tasmania's attack after they fell just short of winning the Shield title. He is still contracted to play for Brisbane Heat in the BBL for the next two seasons.
Meanwhile, Burns has been left off Queensland's contract after he was left out of both the Shield and Marsh Cup sides last summer. His Shield omission in February came as a surprise given he had performed well in the early part of the season. He made a 133 and 55 against eventual finalists Tasmania in Hobart and 91 in a nail-biting fourth innings chase against South Australia in Brisbane. He also made an unbeaten 62 not out in a draw against eventual champions Western Australia before the BBL against an attack featuring Jhye Richardson and Cameron Green.
But despite being the Bulls leading run-scorer through the first seven games and averaging a healthy 37.16 in a season dominated by the bowlers, Queensland decided to blood some young batters in the second half of the season when they fell out of Shield final contention. He spent some time away from the squad late in the season due to a family bereavement.
Queensland have opted not to offer the 34-year-old a contract. Burns has played 23 Tests for Australia and made four Test hundreds. He is also out of contract at the Melbourne Stars.
The Bulls have instead promoted opener Angus Lovell onto the contract list after making his Shield debut last summer and playing four matches.
Queensland have also signed four of Australia's Under-19 World Cup winners for next season. Under-19 World Cup-winning captain Hugh Weibgen and promising quick Callum Vidler have received full contracts. Vidler made his Shield debut in the final round of the season against New South Wales and took five wickets.
Fellow Australia Under-19 squad members Lachlan Aitken and Tom Straker have been handed rookie deals. Straker has been recruited from New South Wales after he took a record-breaking 6 for 24 in the Under-19 World Cup semi-final win over Pakistan.
Queensland are still searching for a new coach after parting ways with Wade Seccombe last month.
Queensland squad 2024-25: Lachlan Aitken (rookie), Xavier Bartlett (CA contract), Max Bryant, Hugo Burdon, Jack Clayton, Liam Guthrie, Lachlan Hearne, Usman Khawaja (CA), Marnus Labuschagne (CA), Angus Lovell, Ben McDermott, Michael Neser, Jimmy Pierson, Matthew Renshaw, Jem Ryan (rookie), Gurinder Sandhu, Jack Sinfield, Mark Steketee, Tom Straker (rookie), Connor Sully, Mitch Swepson, Bryce Street, Callum Vidler, Hugh Weibgen, Tom Whitney (rookie), Jack Wildermuth
Ins: Angus Lovell, Lachlan Hearne, Callum Vidler, Lachlan Aitken, Jem Ryan, Tom Straker
Outs: Joe Burns, James Bazley, Blake Edwards, Aryan Jain, Matthew Kuhnemann, Will Prestwidge

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo