Western Australia have named a fresh looking 20-man squad for 2008-09 after a year of change during which several of their senior players departed. Liam Davis, Paul Davis, Arron Crawford, Wes Robinson and Matt Johnston earned their first full contracts, while four new rookies were also included.
The list of departures is extensive and includes the recent retirees Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Mathew Inness and Darren Wates. Brad Hogg has not officially given up state duties but has been left out while he contemplates his future, while Chris Rogers has moved to Victoria. The Warriors also axed the allrounders Sean Ervine and Shawn Gillies and the left-arm fast bowler Danny McLauchlan.
Among the new rookies is Mitchell Marsh, 16, a younger brother of the Cricket Australia-contracted batsman Shaun Marsh and the son of former Australia opening batsman Geoff Marsh. A right-hand batsman, the youngest Marsh has represented his state at Under-17 and Under-19 level and this season broke the record for most runs in the Perth schools competition, the Darlot Cup, where he scored 739 runs at 105.57.
Liam Davis was bumped up from a rookie deal after an impressive start to his first-class career in 2007-08. An opening batsman, Davis played three matches and scored a century and a fifty and will become a key player with the loss of Langer and Rogers.
Johnston also received a promotion from the rookie list having shown promise in the FR Cup last summer until a wayward throw broke his jaw and forced him off for surgery that disrupted his season. The fast bowler Paul Davis, 27, made his limited-overs debut in February while Crawford was welcomed back to the list having lost his rookie deal last year.
Robinson, 27, was included following an outstanding club season during which he made 865 runs at 61.78 and collected 12 wickets at 17.80. He also picked up the Olly Cooley Medal as the best player in Perth's grade competition.
The new rookies include Nicholas Death, a former ACT under-age representative who grabbed 46 wickets in club cricket in 2007-08. The batsman Marcus Stoinis and the bowler Chris Thompson also picked up their first rookie contracts. Josh Mangan, Michael Johnson and Christopher Wood held on to their rookie deals while Chris Hansberry and Patrick Molinari were omitted.
Tom Moody, the Western Australia coach, said the youthful group would help the Warriors look to the future. "We are very fortunate to have a wealth of local talent in Western Australia and I am thrilled that we have managed to secure some of that talent on our contact list," Moody said. "Our main focus in the selection process was to reward performances while also keeping a keen eye on youth so we can continue to develop for the future."
Squad David Bandy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Arron Crawford, Liam Davis, Paul Davis, Brett Dorey, Theo Doropoulos, Ben Edmondson, Aaron Heal, Clint Heron, Michael Hussey (Cricket Australia contract), Matthew Johnston, Trent Kelly, Steve Magoffin, Shaun Marsh (CA), Marcus North, Luke Pomersbach, Wes Robinson, Luke Ronchi, Adam Voges (CA).
Rookies Nicholas Death, Michael Johnson, Josh Mangan, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Thompson, Christopher Wood.