Test batsman Kurtis Patterson will lead a 12-player NSW Blues squad into the Marsh Sheffield Shield match against Queensland, that will begin at North Dalton Park in Wollongong, on Saturday.
Patterson replaces regular skipper Peter Nevill, who is absent awaiting the impending birth of his second child.
Into the squad that lost the Blues’ most recent game against Tasmania last month come prodigious batsman Jack Edwards and wicketkeeper Baxter Holt, while coming out of the group are Nevill, star allrounder Sean Abbott, Nick Larkin and Daniel Solway.
Abbott is still recovering from the hand injury he suffered in the first innings of the game against Tasmania.
Twenty-year-old Lachlan Hearne is in the squad and a chance to earn his first Baggy Blue cap.
The winner of the top of the Shield table clash, one of three games nationally in the season’s final round, will be all but guaranteed the number one spot and the right to host the final from April 15.
The current Marsh Sheffield Shield standings are here.
Cricket NSW Head of Male Cricket Michael Klinger said Patterson would lead from the front and that Hearne had worked hard for his opportunity.
“It’s a great opportunity for Kurtis to lead a young group of players,” Klinger said.
“He is a highly respected member of the squad and we are looking forward to him taking on the challenge.
“Lachie has earned his place in the Blues squad with a string of very good performances.
“This is a great opportunity for a player who has come through the NSW pathway and performed well in both Premier Cricket and 2nd XI cricket.”
Along with Patterson, the squad also contains three members who have played Test cricket for Australia – speedster Mitchell Starc, off-spinning legend Nathan Lyon and the evergreen Trent Copeland.
The match is open to the public with gates open at 9.30am each day and QR code on entry.
NSW Blues Marsh Sheffield Shield squad v. Queensland, North Dalton Park, Wollongong, Saturday April 3 to Tuesday April 6
Kurtis PATTERSON (Captain)
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