Richardson released as Bulls reveal squad for 2023-24

Australia T20 quick Kane Richardson and one-time ODI batter Sam Heazlett the major omissions from the Queensland squad for next season

Kane Richardson won't have a state contract next summer which could open up opportunities for the Australian white-ball quick on the global T20 circuit.

The Queensland Bulls today announced their squad for the 2023-24 season with Richardson – who played in Australia's last T20I against Afghanistan in last year's World Cup – the major omission.

The 32-year-old right-armer now lives on the Gold Coast with his family and crossed to the Bulls last season after a decorated 14-year career with South Australia.

Richardson played two Marsh One-Day Cup matches for Queensland last season prior to KFC BBL|12 with a best return of 1-12 from eight overs against Victoria last November.

It's understood Richardson will still put his hand up for Bulls selection next season if available but playing for domestic T20 franchises around the world also appears a possibility.

Image Id: AD14849CC5C94225A32D40E4D4586C1D Image Caption: Richardson bowls on debut for the Bulls against Victoria at Allan Border Field // Getty

As flagged by in February, wicketkeeper-batter Ben McDermott returns home to Queensland after eight seasons with Tasmania, while Aryan Jain, Tom Whitney and Hugh Weibgen earn contracts for the first time. 

Along with Richardson, one-time ODI representative Sam Heazlett has been released, along with Sam Truloff and Matthew Willans.

With Matthew Kuhnemann and Mitchell Swepson both in the Bulls' squad, uncontracted spinner and Big Bash sensational Paddy Dooley – who played in Queensland's last Marsh Cup match of the season – has signed his first state contract with Tasmania.

The arrival of McDermott, which was announced on Thursday, will bolster the Bulls' batting line up that will likely be without Australian regulars Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne for large chunks of the summer.

McDermott made his first-class and List A debuts for Queensland in October 2014 but was delisted at the end of the season before going on to forge a successful career in Tasmania that has seen him represent the country in both white-ball formats.

Khawaja, Labuschagne and allrounder Michael Neser are the CA-contracted players in the Queensland squad while Matthew Kuhnemann, Matthew Renshaw and Mitchell Swepson have all played Test cricket in the last 12 months. 

Top-order batter Jain made his Marsh Sheffield Shield debut in February this year, playing two matches and impressing with an unbeaten 44 against Tasmania in Hobart.

Fast bowler Whitney and batting allrounder Weibgen are both additions to the rookie list, Whitney also making his Marsh Cup debut in the final match of the season and Weibgen currently part of Australia's under-19 squad. 

Heazlett boasts an impressive record in List A cricket, averaging 42.58 from 35 matches with a strike-rate almost above a run-a-ball (97.37), and scored a century against Victoria in February, but the 27-year-old batter will be without a Bulls contract next summer.

The dashing left-hander, who has a first-class average of 29.82, played only two first-class matches last season, and none in the two preceding it.

Heazlett was thrust from obscurity to an ODI debut on Australia's tour to New Zealand in 2017 but has failed to reach those heights since.

Bulls opener Heazlett the last batter out for third List A ton

Another batter the Bulls have moved on from is 30-year-old Truloff, who played five Marsh Cup and three Sheffield Shield matches last season for a return of 236 runs at 23.6 across both formats. 

"The four players going off the list certainly remain in our selection plans going forward," Queensland Cricket high performance general manager Bennett King said.

"Each of them has had the chance for in-depth discussions with our coaching staff and selectors about where things sit leading into the coming season and what we will be looking for from them in Premier Cricket."

Queensland Bulls 2023-24 squad: Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Jack Clayton, Blake Edwards, Liam Guthrie, Aryan Jain, Usman Khawaja*, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne*, Ben McDermott, Michael Neser*, Jimmy Peirson, Matthew Renshaw, Gurinder Sandhu, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Connor Sully, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth. Rookies: Will Prestwidge, Jack Sinfield, Hugo Burdon, Hugh Weibgen, Tom Whitney

* Cricket Australia contract

Ins: Aryan Jain, Ben McDermott, Tom Whitney, Hugh Weibgen. Outs: Sam Heazlett, Kane Richardson, Sam Truloff, Matthew Willans