Hard-hitting batsman Nic Maddinson’s career in the sky blue of NSW has come to an end after Cricket NSW today announced its men’s contract list for season 2018-19 without the left-hander.
Maddinson, who made his Test debut against South Africa in November 2016 and played two further Tests, is now without a state contract for next summer, but will represent the Melbourne Stars in the KFC Big Bash League.
The 26-year-old played seven JLT Sheffield Shield matches last summer, averaging 23.61 with a high score of 87, his only half-century in the four-day format.
"We have made the tough decision to release Nic Maddinson," said Cricket NSW General Manager of Cricket Performance David Moore.
"Nic is a mercurial talent who has played Test cricket but he lacked consistency for the Blues at Sheffield Shield level, averaging under 33 across the past eight seasons.
"NSW is an ‘up or out’ system and we now need to give new players their opportunity. We wish Nic well in the future and hope he achieves his potential in the game."
Maddinson is one of five Blues players to not be re-contracted, joing wicketkeeper Jay Lenton, fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu (moved to Tasmania) and retired veterans Ed Cowan and Doug Bollinger.
Replacing that group is an exciting quintet of young players, led by Australia Under-19 captain Jason Sangha, who is joined by Param Uppal, Dan Fallins, Mickey Edwards and Liam Hatcher.
"We choose players based on both performance and potential and all of the latest additions have shown signs of what they are capable of at the next level," Moore said.
"Param, Mickey and Dan all made their debuts for the Blues last season while Jason made a first-class century against England during a tour match in Townsville last November and Liam has previously represented the Cricket Australia XI in the state one-day competition."
Four players – Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon – were awarded Cricket Australia contracts. Due to their suspensions for their involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, Steve Smith and David Warner are ineligible to represent their country or state for 12 months.
While the Blues have finalised their squad for the upcoming season, Moore Park is still without a head coach after Trent Johnston departed the post at the end of the summer.
The Blues finished in fifth place in the Sheffield Shield last summer and fourth in the JLT One-Day Cup competition.
NSW Blues contracted players for 2018-19: Mitchell Starc (CA), Pat Cummins (CA), Josh Hazlewood (CA), Nathan Lyon (CA). Ryan Gibson, Moises Henriques, Dan Hughes, Nick Larkin, Kurtis Patterson, Jason Sangha, Param Uppal, Peter Nevill, Dan Fallin, Arjun Nair, Steve O’Keefe, Will Somerville, Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Ben Dwarshius, Mickey Edwards, Liam Hatcher, Charlie Stobo, Henry Thornton. Rookies: Jack Edwards, Jordan Gauci, Ryan Hackney, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt, Chad Sammut