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Haddin Ryobi


Haddin backs new-look RYOBI Cup

Stand-in NSW skipper Brad Haddin says the controversial new format for the domestic one-day cricket competition is outstanding, but concedes interstate teams are unlikely to share his enthusiasm.

All 20 matches between the six teams in the competition, starting this weekend, will be crammed into four weeks and played at five Sydney suburban venues.

"I reckon the way they've set it out this year is outstanding," said Test wicketkeeper Haddin, who in Michael Clarke's absence will lead the Blues against Tasmania in the opening match on Sunday at Bankstown Oval.

"It mirrors what you do with the Australian team and it gets guys used to playing in a tournament and building towards a final.

"Tournament play is about getting better and better as you go along and I reckon this is a great way for state cricket to start."

QUICK SINGLE: RYOBI Cup preview: NSW Blues

Haddin anticipated travelling teams were unlikely to share his viewpoint.

"(If I was them) I would ask some questions," Haddin said.

Haddin recently set a world record for dismissals in a Test series and has regained the No.1 wicketkeeping position in the Australian one-day squad for the imminent tour of India.

"All that is good and that will be great moving forward, but my focus now is to win some silverware for NSW," Haddin said.

"We've got a pretty talented team, one of the most skilful teams I've been a part of, in NSW, to play in this first match."

All but two of the 12 named have played for either Australia or Australia A.

Haddin said the availability through the domestic series of power-hitter David Warner was massive for NSW.

He was confident NSW had the depth to contend for trophies despite the likely loss of multiple players to the different national teams.

He revealed the atmosphere around NSW cricket had improved after a turbulent season last summer, during which coach Anthony Stuart was sacked and long serving chief executive David Gilbert stood down.

"Leading into the Ashes it wasn't a great place to be around, but coming back with the work that (new CEO) Andrew Jones and (new Cricket NSW chairman John Warn have done with NSW cricket, it's just been a fresh start," Haddin said.

"It was refreshing to walk back in after the Ashes campaign and see the head space everyone was at."

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