Queensland Cricket: Bulls squad revealed for 2020-21
Bulls captain Usman Khawaja will be available to media today at 10.45am at Shield Champions Grove at Allan Border Field. Media will be asked to observe appropriate social distancing.
Performances in Premier Cricket and 2nd XI competitions have opened the door for higher honours for a host of aspiring Queensland Bulls players ahead of the 2020-21 cricket season.
The Bulls squad for the coming summer includes a trio of first-time inclusions while maiden first class and one-day efforts by the likes of batsman Bryce Street and paceman Blake Edwards and a solid second season showing from Nathan McSweeney have earned the trio full contracts for the first time after being on rookie deals last year.
Left-handed opener Street produced an eye-catching summer, making his Marsh One Day Cup and Marsh Sheffield Shield debuts while McSweeney also made his List A debut for the Bulls.
Street, 22, scored two Shield centuries for the Bulls on the way to 489 runs at 37.61. Two weeks before his first-class debut, the Sandgate-Redcliffe player made the highest individual total in Australian 2nd XI cricket, scoring 345 runs against Victoria at Ian Healy Oval.
Edwards, 20, made his Shield debut against Victoria at the MCG in November, claiming 2-64 and 2-28 in a polished maiden appearance. He was the second leading wicket-taker in the Premier Grade competition, snaring 56 scalps for Wests at 14.8.
Wynnum-Manly pace bowler Benji Floros becomes the second member of his family to win a Bulls contract, with the younger brother of former Queensland allrounder Jason reaping the benefits of his decision to relocate from his Canberra home ahead of last season.
The 22-year-old right-arm quick is one of two new Rookie contracted players on the Queensland list.
Floros, who had previously played 2nd XI cricket for ACT/NSW Country, took 13 wickets in three games for the Queensland Academy of Sport in the Toyota 2nd XI competition last season.
Alongside brothers Tim and Matthew, he has also represented Australia in Indoor Cricket.
Ipswich-Logan left-arm wrist spinner Jack Wood becomes the first player of that skillset to sign a full Bulls contract, with the 23-year-old Laidley product impressing in both one-day and T20 formats as well as longer form cricket.
Wood and younger brother Harry were key performers in the Hornets side that qualified for the Final of the Bulls Masters Premier Cricket competition for the first time.
Jack Wood took eight wickets at Toyota 2nd XI level including a match winning 4-79 against SA in Adelaide as well as snaring 28 wickets for Ipswich/Logan. He was also a member of the QAS T20 squad that performed solidly on the Sunshine Coast.
The other first-time inclusion on the Rookie list is University of Queensland left-hander Jack Clayton, who was the leading runs scorer in the Bulls Masters Premier Grade competition with 991 runs at 66.07 including five centuries.
The 21-year-old Clayton played 2nd XI last season for the QAS as his cricket stocks continued to rise after a brief stint as a teenager playing football in the second tier NEAFL competition as part of the Brisbane Lions academy.
Wood and Clayton both came to prominence through the Queensland Cricket Youth Pathways programs at Under-17 and Under-19 level before enhancing their potential with their Premier clubs.
Returning for second seasons on the Rookie list are Wynnum-Manly batsman Corey Hunter and pacemen Connor Sully and Matthew Willans, who both represented Australia at last season’s U-19 World Cup in South Africa.
Among the players dropping off the 2019-20 list include paceman Alister McDermott who was struck down by back injuries last summer.
Batsman Charlie Hemphrey has relocated to England to play for Glamorgan while pacemen Cameron Gannon and Jack Prestwidge have shifted interstate to pursue their careers.
Queensland finished in third spot on the Shield ladder when the competition came to a premature conclusion due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were beaten Finalists in the decider of the Marsh One Day Cup.
Bulls coach Wade Seccombe said there was ample incentive for the squad to build on their recent performances, both individually and as a team.
“We’re pleased that Joe (Burns) and Marnus (Labuschagne) have pushed up into the Australian ranks and know that Usman (Khawaja) still has much to offer to the national set-up,’’ he said.
“It has been a different pre-season for the group and this summer will no doubt provide us with some unique challenges, but it also presents some exciting opportunities for us all.”
“It’s pleasing to be able to bring through another group of promising players too, especially guys like Jack Wood and Jack Clayton who have worked hard at improving their games at grade and 2nd XI level in order to take the next step,” Seccombe said.
Cricket Australia Contracted Players
Joe Burns (Norths)
Marnus Labuschagne (Redlands)
Queensland Bulls Contracted Players
Xavier Bartlett (Gold Coast)
Max Bryant (Gold Coast)
Brendan Doggett (Wests)
Blake Edwards (Wests)
Sam Heazlett (Redlands)
Usman Khawaja (Valley)
Matthew Kuhnemann (Gold Coast)
Nathan McSweeney (Norths)
Michael Neser (Gold Coast)
Lachlan Pfeffer (Valley)
Matt Renshaw (Toombul)
Billy Stanlake (South Brisbane)
Mark Steketee (Valley)
Bryce Street (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Mitch Swepson (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Jack Wildermuth (Valley)
Jack Wood (Ipswich/Logan) - NEW
Corey Hunter (Wynnum-Manly)
Jack Clayton (University of Qld) - NEW
Benji Floros (Wynnum-Manly) - NEW
Matthew Willans (University of Qld)
Connor Sully (Norths)
In: Jack Wood (new), Jack Clayton (rookie), Benji Floros (rookie).
Out: Charlie Hemphrey (Glamorgan), Cameron Gannon (WA), Jack Prestwidge (Victoria), Alister McDermott.