Former Australian opener Phillip Hughes has ended his five-year association with New South Wales and signed with South Australia.
Hughes, who recently missed out on a Cricket Australia contract, announced his move on Thursday and feels the move to Adelaide Oval for the next three years, is the right thing to do for his career.
"The next two years are the most critical in my cricket career and I’m not going to leave any stone unturned to make sure I put myself back into contention to play again for Australia," the 23-year-old said.
"Missing a CA contract this year is not the end of the world. In fact, in lots of ways it's a new beginning."
The 23-year-old left-handed batsman has spent time in England playing county cricket with Worcestershire and says playing abroad had given him the opportunity to rediscover his passion for the game.
"The organisation, their support of me and my ability to focus 100 per cent on my game has been a real eye opener and my form with the bat has obviously benefited from it. That's what I expect the move to Adelaide to also do for me, and I can't wait to get there and settle in." Hughes said.
Hughes also said he was looking forward to reuniting with former Australia coach Tim Nielson and ex-national selector Jamie Cox at Adelaide Oval.
"I have huge respect for Tim Nielsen (Emerging Redbacks program head coach) and Jamie Cox (South Australian Cricket Association director of cricket).
"They have both had a great influence on my international career to date."
Hughes played 71 first-class matches, averaging 46.52 and has made 17 centuries, while he has averaged 34.58 in 16 Test matches for Australia.
Cox said Hughes' presence in the team would help fast-track the development of the state's youngsters.
"It is fantastic for us to bring in someone of Phillip's quality, and it works hand in hand with the opportunity that he is also looking for," he said.
"His record here at Adelaide Oval, playing against South Australia, is very good and we believe he will be a great asset for us at the top of the order.
"He is an extremely hard working cricketer who wants to succeed at the highest level again, and we believe that his determination and focus will be a great example for our young cricketers."
Hughes in the youngest person to score a century in a Pura Cup final - as the Sheffield Shield was called in 2007-08 - posting 116 in the second innings as New South Wales beat Victoria by 258 runs.
Cricket NSW Chief Executive David Gilbert said it was difficult seeing him go.
"Cricket NSW was very keen for Phil to be part of our squad in 2012/13 and we are disappointed to see him leave," Gilbert said.
"We are very proud of what he has achieved so far and we wish him good luck for the next phase of his career, and his bid to regain his place in the Australian team."
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 28 June, 2012 1:25PM AEST