The New South Wales Blues continue to promote exciting young players, naming three potential debutants for the opening JLT Sheffield Shield match of the season against South Australia, beginning next Tuesday.
Recent JLT One-Day Cup star Jack Edwards, Australia’s Under 19 captain Jason Sangha and well performed allrounder Daniel Sams are part of a 12-man squad which leaves for Adelaide on Monday.
Edwards and Sams both performed with distinction throughout the recent JLT One-Day Cup. Edwards was the leading run-scorer for the Blues with 273 runs at an average of 54.6, while Sams claimed nine wickets at 22.4 and made 152 runs at just under 40.
Eighteen-year-old Edwards became the youngest batsman to ever score a century in one-day domestic cricket in Australia when he posted 116 against Queensland at Drummoyne Oval during the tournament.
Sangha has started his season in good form. He made his first half-century of the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket with 67 not out against UNSW last Saturday.
The 19-year-old also posted a solid 48 for ACT/NSW Country against Queensland this week in the Toyota Futures League at Canberra's Manuka Oval.
Sangha became the second youngest player in history to score a first class century against England behind Indian great Sachin Tendulkar last season.
Aged 18 years and 68 days, Sangha scored 133 for a Cricket Australia XI against England in a drawn four-day match at Townsville during November.
After several years plying his trade in NSW Premier Cricket and, more recently, in the Big Bash League, Sams said he shared the same excitement as Edwards about a possible Shield debut on Tuesday.
“Really excited to potentially wear the Baggy Blue. (It’s) been a goal for me for quite a while now,” said the 25-year-old.
Edwards said his performances throughout the JLT One-Day Cup has given him the confidence he can compete at the domestic level.
“I think you get a taste of (what to expect from) the different sides and how they go about things and how they are going to bowl at you.
“White ball cricket you can go after it a bit more, but red ball I might have to bat a bit more time.”
Sams concurred. “One of the biggest things with Shield cricket, obviously being a longer form, you’ve just got to try and execute your skills for a longer period of time.
“If you’re bowling, trying to outlast the batter and try and draw a mistake.”
Edwards has again been selected alongside his brother, fast bowler Mickey Edwards, in the squad for the first round of the Shield.
“Made my debut in white ball cricket with him, and hopefully we’ll do the same in red ball,” he said.
NSW Blues JLT Sheffield Shield squad to play South Australia at Adelaide Oval from October 16-19
Peter Nevill (captain)
(*12th man to be named at the toss)