NSW have named their 14-man squad for this summer’s Matador BBQs One-Day Cup with eight internationals set to feature as the Blues aim to defend their title.
Australia speedsters Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, who were not picked in the squad as their bowling workload continues to be managed, will also be available at certain stages during the tournament.
Quick Single: Bulls name new skipper for Matador Cup
Allrounder Moises Henriques will captain the squad, leading an octet of international representatives including Doug Bollinger, Ed Cowan, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Steve O’Keefe and Gurinder Sandhu.
The Blues lost only one match on their way to their 10th domestic 50-over title last season, beating South Australia by nine wickets in the final.
Henriques, who recently returned from the Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka with the national team, is excited to see explosive opening batsman Maddinson out in the middle this summer.
"Every year you’re expecting big things from ‘Maddo’ (Maddinson), he’s got so much talent," Henriques told cricket.com.au on Monday at the Cricket NSW season launch in Sydney.
"I feel if he gets going and is in the right frame of mind there’s not really many teams in the country that can stop him.
"He’s one of those guys that can win a game from nowhere and win a game from anywhere as well.
"I definitely would rather have him on my team than have to bowl to him.
"It’s obviously great for NSW to have a trump card like that up their sleeve."
Quick Single: Full Matador One-Day Cup schedule
The group also includes two potential debutants in young quicks Harry Conway and Ben Dwarshius, while Sydney Thunder off-spinner Chris Green returns to the Blues one-day setup for the first time in two years.
The squad boasts the desired mix of youth and experience, and Blues coach Trent Johnston says he will lean on his internationals during the Blues’ title defence.
"Our experience is very much in our batting and we will be relying heavily on those guys," Johnston said.
"However our bowling has also stood up during past Matador Cup campaigns, with players like Doug Bollinger and Gurinder Sandhu performing well in the one-day format.
"And we have a good variety of spinners, with Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe both internationals.
"We had an excellent state trial match on Monday with some good performances and the boys are raring to go."
The Blues will be without the services of Mitchell Starc, who is sidelined for the duration of the tournament after lacerating his left leg in a training mishap last week.
Starc was practically unstoppable last year, setting a new tournament record by taking 26 wickets in only six matches for the champion NSW outfit.
NSW squad: Moises Henriques (c), Doug Bollinger, Ryan Carters, Harry Conway, Ed Cowan, Ben Dwarshuis, Chris Green, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Steve O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Gurinder Sandhu
7 Oct v CA XI Hurstville Oval
9 Oct v Tas Hurstville Oval
12 Oct v SA Drummoyne Oval
14 Oct v Qld Drummoye Oval D/N
16 Oct v Vic North Sydney Oval D/N
19 Oct v WA North Sydney Oval
21 Oct Elimination Final (2 v 3) Drummoyne Oval D/N
23 Oct Final North Sydney Oval
2016 Matador Cup – broadcast matches
Oct 6: Qld v WA, WACA. Oct 8: WA v Vic, WACA. Oct 9: SA v WA, WACA. Oct 12: SA v NSW, Drummoyne Oval. Oct 13: Vic v Tas, North Sydney Oval. Oct 14: Qld v NSW d/n, Drummoyne. Oct 15: Tas v WA, North Sydney. Oct 16: NSW v Vic d/n, North Sydney. Oct 18: Vic v Qld, Drummoyne. Oct 19: NSW v WA, North Sydney. Oct 21: Qualifying final, d/n, Drummoyne. Oct 23: Final, North Sydney.