Six NSW players have been named in a 13-man squad for the first two Magellan Ashes Series Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide, highlighting the state’s continuing domination of Australian cricket.
Captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Australia’s first choice attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have all been included.
Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird are also originally from NSW. Khawaja began his first class career with the Blues before moving to Queensland, where he is now captain, and Jackson Bird played McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket before moving to Tasmania.
It will be the first time that Pat Cummins has played a Test on home soil six years after his spectacular debut in South Africa.
It will also be the first time that Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood have all played a Test together despite combining in white ball cricket for their country.
Their only first class match as a trio was the second NSW JLT Sheffield Shield game this season at Hurstville, where NSW easily beat Western Australia.
Starc became a major part of history by claiming a hat-trick in each West Australian innings while Smith top-scored in both NSW innings, including with a century in the second.
The pace trio were rested during the most recent NSW JLT Sheffield Shield match against Queensland in Brisbane, which the Blues won by six wickets to go a game clear at the top of the Shield table with three consecutive victories to start the season.
Another recent Blues Test player, Steve O’Keefe, is making his return to competitive cricket in the Toyota Futures League after suffering a broken finger playing McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket.
O’Keefe is slated to play the first innings of the four-day fixture against Western Australia, beginning at Blacktown International Sports Park on Monday.
He hopes to prove his fitness for the Blues’ next Shield game, against Victoria at North Sydney Oval, beginning on Friday, November 24.
Magellan Ashes Test Squad
Steve Smith (c) New South Wales
David Warner (vc) New South Wales
Cameron Bancroft Western Australia
Jackson Bird Tasmania
Pat Cummins New South Wales
Peter Handscomb Victoria
Josh Hazlewood New South Wales
Usman Khawaja Queensland
Nathan Lyon New South Wales
Shaun Marsh Western Australia
Tim Paine Tasmania
Chadd Sayers South Australia
Mitchell Starc New South Wales