Western Australia have finalised their revamped squad for next season after naming a 17-man contract list. The key changes for the Warriors had already been confirmed earlier in the off-season, with the axing of Steve Magoffin, David Bandy, Aaron Heal, Matt Johnston, Michael Swart and Luke Towers, while Ashley Noffke and Brett Dorey both retired during the summer.
The coach Mickey Arthur last week confirmed the addition of the Tasmania batsman Travis Birt, the Queensland fast bowler Nathan Rimmington and the New South Wales fast man Mark Cameron to the group in an effort to force strong competition for places. There were no other surprises in the final list, with the fast-bowling pair Matt Dixon and Joel Parris added to the rookie list.
The impressive left-arm fast man Ryan Duffield was upgraded from a rookie deal to a full contract after a summer in which he collected 33 Sheffield Shield wickets at 22.90, while the opening batsman Marcus Harris was also promoted. Arthur said the squad was one he and the captain Marcus North could put their stamp on.
"I am really comfortable with our new signings and the list that we have put together," Arthur said. "We cut seven players from the squad and lost two to retirement at the end of 2010-11 and have only recruited three players from interstate, so we are backing our outstanding local talent to return the Warriors to the top of Australian cricket.
"We have brought in some experienced players in Travis Birt, Mark Cameron and Nathan Rimmington and they will play big roles for us, but we must not forget that we have an exciting bunch of young cricketers as well. I feel that we have got our list almost right with a mix that will set us up for years to come, and in the next year or two we will have it spot on. I am really confident with the direction we are taking WA cricket."
The Warriors finished fourth on the Sheffield Shield table last season, Arthur's first in charge, and they were also fourth in the Ryobi Cup. But there were some positive signs, with Duffield, Harris, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Tom Beaton emerging as players to watch.
Western Australia squad Michael Beer, Travis Birt, Mark Cameron, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Davis, Ryan Duffield, Marcus Harris, Michael Hogan, Michael Hussey (Cricket Australia contract), Mitchell Johnson (CA), Brad Knowles, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh (CA), Marcus North, Martin Paskal, Luke Pomersbach, Nathan Rimmington, Wes Robinson, Luke Ronchi, Adam Voges.
Rookies Tom Beaton, Jason Behrendorff, Matt Dixon, Michael Johnson, Joel Paris.