Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Multi-sport star commits as pace ace leaves Victoria
Irishwoman Kim Garth signs with Victoria's women's side while highly-rated leg-spinner Wil Parker joins the men's squad
24 June 2020, 09:54 AM AEST
Victoria have secured talented dual-sport athlete Wil Parker to cricket after he had flirted with a career in Australian Rules football, but the Vics have suffered some big pace losses to their male contract list for the 2020-21 season.
Parker, the 18-year-old leg-spinner who burst onto the scene with a four-wicket haul against the NSW Blues on debut in February, had been touted as a potential top-20 pick in the Australian Football League's player draft.
"We're excited he's chosen to pursue cricket," said Cricket Victoria's General Manager of Cricket, Shaun Graf.
"He gave us a glimpse of what he's got to offer in his two Shield games last season, we believe he's got the skill and temperament to succeed in what is a difficult cricketing art form.
"His initial experiences last season will hopefully give him some added confidence moving forward in his career."
Parker is joined by four new additions to Victoria's rookie list, while the state has had Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb return to its payroll after the pair were overlooked in the latest round of Cricket Australia national contracts.
But while the batting stocks have been bolstered by their return to the 28-player men's list, it's the pace-bowling stocks that may worry Victoria supporters.
Chris Tremain has had his move to the NSW Blues confirmed, the right-armer leaving Victoria with 209 wickets in 54 first-class games to his name, returning home to the state where he made his debut in 2012.
Tremain's exit for the security of a multi-year deal with the Blues follows that of veteran Peter Siddle, who has joined Tasmania also with the security of a multi-year contract, leaving a huge hole in terms of wickets and experience in the Victorian line-up.
Nationally contracted star James Pattinson, who could be expected to spend much of the summer with Australia's Test squad, and Scott Boland will be relied upon to lead the attack, along with rising star Will Sutherland.
Andrew Fekete has retired and seamers Jackson Coleman and Jake Reed were not offered new contracts, while back-up wicketkeeper Aaron Ayre and batsman Eamonn Vines, squeezed out by the return of Harris and Handscomb, were also cut.
The thin pace stocks could be bolstered by the arrival of a couple of Western Australians, with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Simon Mackin on the move after they were cut by WA.
Mackin has signed up to play Premier Cricket with Melbourne University, while Coulter-Nile – who is on a long-term deal with the Melbourne Stars – is actively hunting for new opportunities. Both could force their way onto Victoria's contract list if they are picked to play during the season.
Former NSW Blue Henry Thornton and Queenslander Jack Prestwidge are other fast-bowling talents in Victoria's Premier Cricket scene.
Victoria, which underwent a major cost-cutting restructure that saw about 40 jobs lost in May, are still without a men's head coach, and are not expected to fill the role until at least August.
Lachlan Stevens, who acted in the men's head coach role last summer, has a 20-player squad to work with in his new role as Victoria's women's coach, while he will also coach the Melbourne Renegades' WBBL side.
The women's list includes five new players, headlined by Ireland international Kim Garth, who has made plain her desire to qualify to play for Australia in the future.
"Garth has played a lot of cricket within Australia in recent seasons (most recently with the Perth Scorchers in the WBBL) and brings further international experience to the squad," Graf said.
"She will play as an overseas player initially, however, she intends to apply for permanent residency allowing her the opportunity to hopefully one day play for Australia."
The 24-year-old, who has played 34 ODIs and 51 T20 internationals, first represented Ireland in 2010 as a 14-year-old, and will play alongside six current Australia stars in the Victoria squad, including national captain Meg Lanning.
While the WNCL schedule is yet to be revealed, Ellyse Perry remains an uncertain starter as she continues her recovery from a hamstring injury picked up at Junction Oval during a T20 World Cup clash with New Zealand in March.
IN: Wil Parker, Brody Couch (rookie), Tom Jackson (rookie), Cameron McClure (rookie), Todd Murphy (rookie).
OUT: Peter Siddle (Tasmania), Chris Tremain (NSW), Andrew Fekete (retired), Aaron Ayre, Jackson Coleman, Jake Reed, Eamonn Vines and Ed Newman (rookie)
Nationally contracted: Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson
Squad: Scott Boland, Xavier Crone, Travis Dean, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Seb Gotch, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Jono Merlo, Tom O'Connell, Wil Parker, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matthew Short, Will Sutherland.
Rookies: Sam Elliott, Tom Jackson, Patrick Rowe, Todd Murphy, Brody Couch, Cameron McClure
IN: Kim Garth, Sophie Day, Bhavisha Devchand, Zoe Griffiths, Anna Lanning
OUT: Alana King (WA), Kristen Beams (retired), Rhiann O'Donnell, Chloe Rafferty
Nationally contracted: Meg Lanning, Sophie Molineux, Ellyse Perry, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Squad: Makinley Blows, Lucy Cripps, Sophie Day, Bhavisha Devchand, Elly Donald, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Kim Garth, Zoe Griffiths, Anna Lanning, Courtney Neale, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Amy Vine.