Experienced fast bowler Chris Tremain has joined Australian One-Day and T20 leg-spinner Adam Zampa as new recruits in an exciting NSW Blues squad preparing to defend their Sheffield Shield title.
Tremain and Zampa, both 28, are among seven new players on the 2020/21 NSW Blues contract list, including batsman Daniel Solway and allrounder Nathan McAndrew.
Australian Under 19 players, leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha and batsman Lachlan Hearne, join the rookie contract list. Sydney Thunder spinner Arjun Nair rejoins the Blues on the rookie list.
Being closer to family played a key role in the decisions of Tremain and Zampa to return home. Tremain left NSW for Victoria six seasons ago and made his One-Day International debut for Australia in 2016.
“It feels great to come home. Most of the way home. Sydney is where my cricket career was forged, but it's fantastic being so close to family back at Yeoval (in Central West NSW) where it really all started,” Tremain said.
“We were happy in Melbourne but with a young son and a nine-hour drive between him and his grandparents, we limited their interaction.
“Now we have the opportunity to grow a better relationship between Noah and his grandparents.”
Tremain and Zampa both made their First Class debuts for the Blues in 2012 and played all of their development cricket in NSW.
Zampa is one of seven Cricket Australia contracted players in the Blues squad joining Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and David Warner.
The Blues bid farewell to former Test spinner Steve O’Keefe in April when he announced his retirement from First Class cricket with 301 wickets to his name.
O’Keefe, batsmen Nick Bertus and Ryan Gibson, leg-spinner Daniel Fallins, fast bowlers Chad Sammut and Greg West and allrounder Param Uppal were not offered contracts for 2020/21.
Opening batsman Ryan Hackney and wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Gilkes were upgraded from rookie contracts.
Tremain returned to the Sydney Thunder last season and his signature with the Blues makes his return home permanent.
In six seasons with Victoria, Tremain claimed 209 Sheffield Shield wickets at an average of 23.79 and was part of four Sheffield Shield titles.
The big quick hopes to continue that trend.
“I hope that if I can continue providing that service then I'll contribute to the squad’s success,” said Tremain.
“The wheel doesn't need to be reinvented. Work hard, play well, lead from the front and win games of cricket for NSW.
“It feels great to come home.”
Last November 25-year-old Daniel Solway became the first NSW Blues batsman since Kurtis Patterson in 2011 to score a century on First Class debut.
He remained unbeaten on 133 at the Adelaide Oval and earns his first full contract on the back of 498 Shield runs at an average of 55.33.
Sangha, Hearne and fellow rookie Ollie Davies were part of the Australian squad selected for the Male ICC Under 19 World Cup, in South Africa, during early 2020.