Reigning premiers New South Wales and 2011-12 champions Queensland will field seven debutants between them in the first round of this season’s Bupa Sheffield Shield, beginning Friday.
The Blues are without 14 players due to national commitments and injury, and have such called upon four newcomers in their 12-man squad to take on Victoria at the MCG from Friday – opening batsman Nick Larkin, 30-year-old spinners Will Somerville and Patrick Jackson and 22-year-old paceman Harry Conway.
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The Blues are hard-hit for the match at the MCG from Friday with 12 players on national duty - Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Nathan Lyon, Stephen O'Keefe, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and David Warner with the Test squad in the UAE, while Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Pat Cummins, Nic Maddinson and Shane Watson are in the T20 squad to take on South Africa next month.
In addition allrounder Moises Henriques (calf) and paceman Trent Copeland (back) are on the injury list.
Larkin is a 24-year-old right-hander who plays for Sydney University, but hails from Taree.
He holds an Irish passport courtesy of his grandfather and has represented Ireland in two List A matches against Sri Lanka A.
Having missed out on selection for the Irish squad that is currently in New Zealand he is still hopeful of scoring enough runs to make the Ireland World Cup squad.
Somerville is an off-spinner who plays for Sydney University and has appeared for the NSW 2nd XI.
Left-armer Jackson was involved in the NSW Blues squad for the latter part of the Matador One-Day Cup campaign.
The my FootDr Queensland Bulls are also calling upon some rookies, with Australia T20I representatives Ben Cutting, Cameron Boyce and Nathan Reardon unavailable, while Usman Khawaja (finger), Michael Neser (finger), Simon Milenko (ankle) and Ryan Harris were not considered.
Harris bowled competitively yesterday for the first time since Australia’s tour of South Africa, taking 0-14 from seven overs for Toombul in the my FootDr Premier Grade competition.
South African-born opening batsman Marnus Labuschagne, 20, and Ben McDermott, 19, will make their debuts in the Bulls batting order, while 30-year-old leg-spinner Ryan Le Loux is set to make his first appearance for Queensland since 2006.
Former South Australia pace bowler Peter George is expected to make his first-class debut for his new state following his relocation during the winter to seek an opportunity with the Bulls after not being offered a contract by the SACA.
Labuschagne, a former Queensland Under-19 captain, played for Queensland in a one-dayer against the touring Scottish team last month, scoring 45, and has hit 504 runs at 41 so far this season for Redlands where he plays alongside Le Loux.
McDermott, whose brother Alister has been named in the squad as well, made his domestic one-day debut for Queensland on Friday in the Matador Cup elimination final where the Bulls narrowly lost to NSW.
McDermott, who played for Brisbane Heat in last year’s BBL, was an Australian Under-19 representative last year. He is currently playing for the Queensland Academy of Sport in the Toyota Futures League 2nd XI clash against the ACT in Canberra and will join the Bulls in Adelaide later this week.
If the McDermott brothers play on Friday, they will be the first set of siblings to turn out for Queensland since Ian and Ken Healy in the 1980s, and the first to play alongside each other since Ron and Ken Archer in the 1950s.
Le Loux has played two first-class games for the Bulls, one in 2005 and the other in 2006, but has been a solidly consistent performer in Premier Grade cricket for the Tigers, including being a regular captain.
A fine fielder, he was the substitute 12 man for Australia during the 2005-06 Gabba Test against the West Indies.
my FootDr Queensland Bulls: James Hopes (c), Joe Burns, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Peter Forrest, Peter George, Chris Hartley, Marnus Labuschagne, Ryan Le Loux, Ben McDermott, Alister McDermott, Nick Stevens. (12th man to be named).
NSW Blues: Peter Nevill (capt), Ryan Carters, Harry Conway, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Henry, Patrick Jackson, Josh Lalor, Nick Larkin, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu, Will Somerville.