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Queensland greats join coaching staff

Andy Bichel and James Hopes join the Queensland coaching ranks ahead of the coming season

Queensland greats Andy Bichel and James Hopes have re-joined the Bulls in coaching roles for the coming season.

Bichel, a former National Selector and assistant coach for two Indian Premier League franchises, has been given the role of Assistant Coach – Pathways, meaning he will work with Queensland's youth teams as well as the senior Bulls side.

Hopes, who retired from playing last season, takes on the dual role of Bulls assistant and Queensland's Pathways coach, while he has also accepted a coaching and planning role with the Brisbane Heat in the KFC Big Bash League.

Bulls head coach Phil Jaques has also joined the Heat as an assistant, alongside fellow assistant and former New Zealand quick Shane Bond, with the pair to work under Kiwi legend and head coach Daniel Vettori.

Bichel and Hopes, who both played for Australia, are the only players in Queensland's Sheffield Shield history to have scored more than 2500 runs and taken more than 250 wickets.

"With Andy, James Hopes and current Pathways coach John Davison to call on, potential Queensland players who emerge from the Pathways system will have some outstanding mentors to work with," said Queensland Cricket General Manager - High Performance Brett Jones.

Bichel played 19 Tests and 67 one-day internationals for Australia in an era when the Aussies boasted a pace attack featuring the likes of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie.

Bichel played a key role in Australia’s 2003 World Cup triumph, including a match-winning haul of 7-20 against England in Port Elizabeth before he hit an unbeaten 34 in a tense two-wicket win.

Hopes was a solid contributor in 84 ODIs for Australia between 2005 and 2010, averaging 25 with the bat and 35 with the ball, while he also played 12 T20 internationals.

The Bulls are coming off mixed results last season; they impressed in Shield cricket, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final, but finished sixth in Matador BBQs One-Day Cup. The Heat, the BBL|02 champions, had another disappointing campaign, missing the finals for the third consecutive year.

On Monday, the Bulls announced rookie captain Jason Floros will lead the side in next month's Matador Cup, with regular skipper Usman Khawaja on international duty with Australia on the Qantas Tour of South Africa.

Australia representatives Joe Burns and Chris Lynn were included in the 14-man squad, along with boom spinner Mitchell Swepson and IPL final hero Ben Cutting.

Queensland squad: Jason Floros (c), Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Luke Feldman, Cameron Gannon, Peter George, Marnus Labuschagne, Chris Lynn, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Matthew Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson

Meg Lanning Steve Smith