Coach Ali de Winter (interim)
September 28-October 1: Queensland (Sheffield Shield), Ian Healy Oval
October 3: Queensland (Marsh Cup), Ian Healy Oval
Two of the biggest moves came in the coaching ranks with Jeff Vaughan departing Tasmania to take up a role as an assistant coach with the Australia men's team. Vaughan was Tasmania's Sheffield Shield coach for the past two seasons after head coach Adam Griffith stood down from the red-ball coaching duties to spread the load and focus on the Hobart Hurricanes program. Griffith remains a key part of the Tigers coaching set-up but his IPL commitments with Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he is a bowling coach, mean Ali de Winter has been drafted in as interim Shield coach and Greg Shipperd returns to Tasmania as a coaching consultant. The playing squad has remained largely the same. Alex Doolan has retired and there was some turnover amongst the rookies with ambidextrous spinner Nivethan Radhakrishnan and former WA allrounder Brad Hope joining the squad.
R=Rookie, CA=Australia contract
Tasmania finished the Shield season exceptionally well with two outstanding wins against New South Wales and Western Australia but they were winless in their first six matches and lost twice to Queensland and New South Wales from positions of dominance, with the Blues winning after conceding a 175-run first innings lead while the Bulls chased down 310 on the final day in Hobart. Tasmania's new-ball attack was excellent all year in the first innings but had some trouble backing up a second time. They bowled NSW out for 64 and 32 in two separate fixtures.
Riley Meredith continues to be a player to keep an eye on given his skill set as one of Australia's fastest bowlers. He opted out of the second half of the IPL following a side injury during Australia's limited-overs tour of the Caribbean. He has continued to make improvements to his run-up and action with Griffith to help with his consistency and there is an expectation among Tasmania's hierarchy that he will get even better in both white and red-ball cricket this season. From a batting perspective, Caleb Jewell came of age last season after a number of years in the domestic system and will get plenty of opportunities in the top order in both forms.
Nathan Ellis is on the verge of becoming an integral part of Australia's T20 side moving forward and could start to be considered in the 50-over side as Australia look to develop their bowling options for the next few limited-overs World Cups. Meredith will likewise be a player of interest for the Australia selectors. Ben McDermott got plenty of opportunities in West Indies and Bangladesh but was unable to take his chances to cement a spot in the T20 World Cup, although there were some mitigating personal circumstances. Some valuable time at home and an extended run of domestic games will give him a chance to put his name back in front of the selectors if he can turn the consistent half-centuries from last summer into big three-figure scores.
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo