Hartley injury sees new captain, debutant

Veteran's streak over as Burns takes the reins and Peirson earns long-awaited call-up for Shield clash in SA

Opening batsman Joe Burns will captain Queensland for the first time in this weekend's vital Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia at the Adelaide Oval.

Burns, 27, takes over the leadership role in the wake of a finger injury suffered by record-breaking wicketkeeper Chris Hartley playing in the Brisbane Premier Cricket competition last weekend.

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Hartley fractured the middle finger on his left hand while batting for University of Queensland in their Kookaburra One Day Cup Final win over Wests at Allan Border Field on Sunday.

He is expected to miss at least three weeks while he recovers.

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Queensland Cricket convenor of selectors Justin Sternes said Hartley, who recently claimed the record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in Australian first-class cricket and became the first Bulls player to take part in 100 consecutive Shield matches, could be available for the final regular season game against Victoria at Allan Border Field from March 16.

"It's bad luck for Harts as he has been playing as well as ever but hopefully the opportunity is there to consider him for the last game," Sternes said.

Hartley is averaging 92 this season and has taken 22 catches and a stumping.

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Brisbane Heat and Queensland Academy of Sport Second XI wicketkeeper James Peirson will make his first-class debut for Queensland against the Redbacks in the game starting on Saturday.

Away from the BBL arena, where he has played every match for the Heat in the past three seasons, Peirson has performed solidly in the Toyota Futures League Second XI arena, captaining the QAS to the trophy last year and helping them to top spot again at the tail-end of this season.

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He has previously played two first-class games for the CA XI against touring International teams Pakistan and West Indies.

Sternes said Peirson, 24, would slot neatly into the Bulls team.

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"We're fortunate to have good depth to call on in the Bulls squad and Jimmy has been working hard for this," Sternes said.

"Joe Burns enjoys the challenge of captaincy and we're confident he will lead from the front for these important games over the next few weeks while Chris recovers."

Burns is currently the leading runs-scorer in the Sheffield Shield with 601 runs at 46.23, and will become the 52nd player to captain Queensland with regular skipper Usman Khawaja on duty with the Australian team in India.

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He led the Brisbane Heat to a win over the Melbourne Stars during the BBL when Brendon McCullum was serving a one-match suspension for a slow over rate.

A Test batsman last summer, he also captained Australia A in their winter series against India A in Brisbane.

Hartley will be joined on the sideline by pace bowler Michael Neser who injured his ankle playing for the Gold Coast Dolphins on the weekend.

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Scans revealed a high ankle strain with some ligament damage and he is expected to be sidelined for a few weeks.

Paceman Luke Feldman, who took 15 wickets in four games prior to Christmas, comes back into the squad in Neser's absence after recovering from a side strain sustained during the Heat's KFC Big Bash League campaign.

Queensland currently sit in fourth spot on the Shield ladder on 31.31 points, with the Redbacks (32.1) and NSW (32.12) marginally ahead of the Bulls.

The Bulls will travel to Adelaide on Thursday to prepare for the match.

Queensland squad: Joe Burns (c), Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Peter Forrest, Cameron Gannon, Peter George, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, James Peirson, Mark Steketee, Sam Truloff, Jack Wildermuth (12th man to be named at the toss).