McDermotts out, Hopes stands down

Former Test quick Peter George one of four fresh faces as Queensland name 2015-16 squad

Adam Burnett

23 April 2015, 12:00 PM AEST

The my Foot Dr Queensland Bulls have named four new faces in their 2015-16 squad, with fast bowler Alister McDermott the biggest casualty in the contract listing and veteran James Hopes stepping down from the captaincy.

Charlie Hemphrey, Simon Milenko and Peter George, who each made their Queensland debuts during the recent season, have been awarded with senior contracts. 

Sam Heazlett, 19, who recently scored 160 for the Australian U19s against England in their current series in Perth, has earned a rookie contract.

For George, the return to a senior list is a significant achievement. 

The former Test paceman came to Queensland last summer from South Australia with no contract, and after a strong pre-season showing went on to provide a reliable and consistent option for the Bulls.

The 28-year-old had an impressive first season with the Bulls, finishing as the team’s leading wicket taker in the Matador One-Day Cup with 11 dismissals and taking 20 wickets in the Bupa Sheffield Shield. 

Yorkshire-born Hemphrey made his Queensland debut in February and scored his maiden first-class century in the Bulls’ thrilling win over South Australia to finish the Shield season. 

Redlands allrounder Milenko debuted for the Bulls in both one-day and first-class cricket in the 2014-15 season, with the 26-year-old putting on hold his accountancy career to take up the full-time position with the Bulls.

"We believe the Queensland Bulls squad for the 2015-16 season has a good blend of youth and experience," said Queensland Cricket’s General Manager of High Performance Brett Jones.

"To have emerging players such as Mark Steketee, Jimmy Pierson and Jack Wildermuth amongst international performers Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns and Chris Lynn is an exciting prospect for the state.

"Looking at last season, although we just missed out on finals in both competitions, we blooded a lot of new talent and had three players represent Australia for the first time, so we are very optimistic about what the future holds."

Alister McDermott, son of legendary Australia fast bowler and current Bupa Support Team member Craig, is one of three contracted players in 2014-15 that have not had contracts renewed. 

Alister’s younger brother Ben, and Ronan McDonald, both on rookie contracts in 2014-15, were also not offered contracts, with the former accepting a rookie contract with Tasmania for 2015-16.

Meanwhile, 2014-15 Bulls Players’ Player James Hopes has renewed his contract for another year after a stellar season in which he claimed 30 first-class wickets at 21.93. 

Hopes was the Bulls’ leading wicket taker in the Sheffield Shield for the second consecutive season and will have the opportunity to add to his 99 first-class games next season. 

The 36-year-old will step aside from the Queensland captaincy having led the Bulls to a Sheffield Shield and two one-day titles during his time in charge. 

"James is a stalwart of Queensland Cricket and we are extremely pleased that he has decided to go around again for the Bulls," Jones added.

"Despite not holding an official leadership playing position, we expect he will continue to have a significant impact on the group through the behaviours and character he shows consistently, both at training and in matches.

"James has been in close to career-best form over the past couple of seasons, and we believe he will once again be a major asset to the team."

Paceman Ryan Harris was awarded a CA contract for 2015-16.

The Bulls are yet to announce their coach for the upcoming summer after Stuart Law left his post towards the end of the recent season.

2015-16 Queensland Bulls

Senior Contracts: Joe Burns (Norths CC), Cameron Boyce (Toombul CC), Nicholas Buchanan (Uni of QLD CC), Ben Cutting (South Brisbane CC), Jason Floros (Wynumm-Manly CC), Luke Feldman (Valley District CC), Peter Forrest (Uni of QLD CC), Cameron Gannon (Norths), Peter George (Wynumm-Manly), Chris Hartley (Uni of QLD CC), Charlie Hemphrey (Toombul CC), James Hopes (Norths), Usman Khawaja (Valley DCC), Chris Lynn (Toombul CC), Simon Milenko (Redlands CC), Michael Neser (Gold Coast CC), James Peirson (Redlands CC), Nathan Rearsdon (Uni of QLD CC), Mark Steketee (Souths)

Rookie Contracts: James Bazley (Sunshine Coast CC), Sam Haezlett (Redlands CC), Matthew Renshaw (Toombull CC), Billy Stanlake (Gold Coast CC), Nick Stevens (Gold Coast CC), Jack Wildermuth (Valley DCC).