Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
NSW invest in youth with new-look contract list
Young guns Oliver Davies and Tanveer Sangha headline the additions to the Blues' squad for the 2021-22 season
17 May 2021, 10:04 AM AEST
The NSW Blues have invested in their youth for the upcoming season which has forced out top-order batter Daniel Solway, a little more than 18 months after he made a century on Sheffield Shield debut.
Solway topped NSW’s batting averages in their-title winning campaign in 2019-20, scoring 498 runs at 55, including a hundred against South Australia in his first Shield innings.
But after a lean run with the bat last summer that yielded just 216 runs at 24, the 26-year-old has been axed from NSW’s 20-man list of contracted players.
The Blues have also cut 31-year-old Nick Larkin, who averaged 29 in the 20-21 Shield season, including a score of 161 against Tasmania.
Solway and Larkin played six and seven Shield games respectively last season but were dropped ahead of the final against Queensland.
Fast bowler Nathan McAndrew and spinner Arjun Nair, who both play for the Sydney Thunder in the KFC BBL, have also been dropped from the NSW contract list.
"It is always difficult to leave quality people and cricketers off our list and those four guys have all been fantastic contributors and squad members for the Blues," said Michael Klinger, Cricket NSW’s Head of Male Cricket.
"We wish them all the best for the future. There may still be opportunities for them to break back into the squad in the future through performances at Premier Cricket and Second XI levels."
In their place, the Blues have elevated four exciting young guns to their senior list, with Baxter Holt, Tanveer Sangha, Oliver Davies and Lachlan Hearne all upgraded having been rookie listed last season.
Holt, 21, and Hearne, 20, were both part of the NSW side for the latter rounds of the recent Shield season, while Davies and Sangha impressed in white-ball cricket, with Sangha earning a national call-up for Australia’s T20 tour of New Zealand.
The NSW batting line-up that lost the Shield final to Queensland last month featured four 21-year-olds – Holt, Jason Sangha, Jack Edwards and Matthew Gilkes – emphasising the depth of young talent in the state.
"(It’s) very exciting to have such young and talented cricketers coming through the Blues system," Klinger said.
"Our emphasis on growth and development will further allow these players to continue their progression to be long term sustainable professional cricketers."
There are seven Cricket Australia contracted players on the NSW list – David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa – as well as an additional seven players with international experience – Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Moises Henriques, Peter Nevill, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams and Chris Tremain.
NSW Blues men’s contract list, 2021-22
Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Patrick Cummins*, Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Ryan Hackney, Josh Hazlewood*, Liam Hatcher, Lachlan Hearne, Moises Henriques, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon*, Peter Nevill, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Steve Smith*, Mitchell Starc*, Chris Tremain, David Warner*, Adam Zampa* (* indicates CA contract)
Rookies: Josh Baraba, Ryan Hadley, Jack Nisbett, Hunar Verma