The inclusion of 17-year-old batsman Jake Doran on a rookie contract is one of few changes to the New South Wales squad after a successful season in which they won the Sheffield Shield and made the Ryobi Cup final.
The only departures from last year's contract list were the fast bowler Chris Tremain, who signed with Victoria, and the rookies Nic Bills and Jay Lenton, who were dropped. Not surprisingly, Ryan Carters was upgraded from a rookie deal after an outstanding summer in which he finished third on the Shield run tally with 861 at 53.81, while 19-year-old allrounder Patrick Pisel was added to the rookie list.
Doran's inclusion came after he broke Doug Walters' record as the youngest player ever to represent the New South Wales Second XI last summer, when he debuted at the age of 16. He also played against the touring England side for the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Alice Springs and signed a rookie contract with the Sydney Thunder, before being Australia's top scorer at the Under-19 World Cup.
The Blues again have a strong contingent of Cricket Australia-contracted players, with seven men holding national deals, allowing the state to name a 27-strong list including rookies. The only change to the CA-contracted personnel was that Steven Smith now holds a central contract, while Pat Cummins has returned to a state deal.
"We have retained all but one full member of our Shield-winning squad and are also able to call on our Australian players at certain times of the year to reinforce the winning culture of the group," Andrew Jones, the Cricket New South Wales CEO said. "Last season was a successful one for the New South Wales Blues, but we need to keep improving and make sure that we are always challenging for titles in the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup, and continuing to produce players for Australia."
New South Wales contracts Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Ryan Carters, Michael Clarke (Cricket Australia contract), Trent Copeland, Pat Cummins, Brad Haddin (CA), Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Scott Henry, Daniel Hughes, Josh Lalor, Nathan Lyon (CA), Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Steve O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu, Steven Smith (CA), Mitchell Starc (CA), David Warner (CA), Shane Watson (CA). Rookies Harry Conway, Jake Doran, Ben Dwarshuis, Patrick Pisel.