Players set to exit as part of Blues shake-up

Nic Maddinson and Gurinder Sandhu reportedly set to leave NSW as states prepare contract lists for 2018-19

Cricket Network

26 April 2018, 08:42 AM AEST

Australia representatives Nic Maddinson and Gurinder Sandhu are reportedly set to join coach Trent Johnston in leaving NSW Blues in the off season.

The Blues announced last month that they had parted ways with Johnston after a disappointing season that saw them miss the finals of the JLT One-Day Cup and go winless from their last seven JLT Sheffield Shield matches.

NSW will announce their squad for the 2018-19 campaign in the next few weeks and while nothing is confirmed, News Ltd reported on Wednesday that both Maddinson and Sandhu will not be contracted.

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Maddinson played three Tests at the end of 2016 and while he's continued to flourish in domestic white-ball cricket, he has struggled at Shield level since he was dropped from the Test side; he's averaged 24 from his past nine Shield matches, while the end of his 2016-17 season was cut short when he took time away from the game for personal reasons.

His Shield returns have dropped, but he's continued to be one of the better limited-overs players domestically and last February signed a three-year deal with Melbourne Stars in the KFC Big Bash League.

The News Ltd report said Maddinson has failed to attract any interest from rival states, which would mean he could be without a contract to play Shield and one-day cricket for the upcoming season.

This despite the left-hander averaging 66, 41 and 66 in the past three domestic one-day tournaments, of which NSW won two, including five centuries.

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Fast bowler Sandhu, who played two ODIs for Australia in 2015, is reportedly set to join Tasmania having fallen out of favour at the Blues in recent years.

The tall right-armer has been in and out of the senior NSW side in the past three seasons, playing 10 Shield games and 11 one-dayers in that time.

While the Blues have performed well in one-day cricket in recent years, they have failed to reach the Shield final in the past four seasons and Cricket NSW CEO Andrew Jones says this was a major factor in Johnston's departure.

"Trent has worked diligently with the team over the past three years and has two state one-day competition titles to his credit," Jones said last month.

"Unfortunately, the results collectively and individually in the Sheffield Shield have been below expectations."

The window for the six states to sign players is now closed and announcements of the squads for the 2018-19 season are expected in the coming weeks.