The West End Redbacks have added four players to their squad for the 2019-20 season.
Adelaide Strikers pace bowler Wes Agar will return to South Australia on a full contract while rookie contracts have been signed by batsman Jacob Dickman, young quick Tim Oakley and Canberra’s Henry Hunt, the leading runscorer in the national Toyota Futures League last season.
Agar, 22, was on the Redbacks’ rookie list in 2016-17 and played four One-Day Cup games for SA but returned to Victoria two years ago, although he continued to be part of the Strikers. He played two JLT One-Day Cup games for Victoria last season.
Woodville’s Dickman, 21, moved to Adelaide from Darwin in 2015 and has played some Futures League cricket while Tea Tree Gully’s Oakley, 21, was the leading wicket-taker in West End Premier Cricket last season.
ACT/NSW Country opener Hunt, 22, made 737 runs at 46.06 with a highest score of 208 in the Futures League.
General Manager, High Performance Tim Nielsen said adding to the fast bowler depth had been a priority.
“Wes Agar has plenty of upside, he is still very young and can bowl with genuine speed and good bounce,” Nielsen said.
“Tim Oakley also bowls with some zip and made his Futures League debut this year.
“We had some injury issues among our quick bowlers last season so we needed to add to that group.
“On the batting side, Jacob Dickman has impressed in a couple of opportunities in Futures and we think going into a full-time program will help fast-track him to competing for a spot in our top order.
“It’s also good to give Henry Hunt an opportunity to develop. He’s made runs in both red and white ball cricket and has shown he can make big scores.”
Nielsen said it was exciting to watch Travis Head, Alex Carey, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson play for Australia but their regular absence increased the need for other players to produce at domestic level.
“It means we must have an eye on rejuvenating the squad across the next couple of years,” he said.
“We have faith in our experienced players but we need more consistency from this group and we also need the young players in our system to keep growing and developing if we are to build success at domestic level.”
Captain Head, leg-spinner Zampa and wicketkeeper-batsman Carey are the three Cricket Australia centrally-contracted players in the Redbacks squad.
As announced last month, Kelvin Smith, Elliot Opie and rookie Michael Cormack were not offered contracts for the 2019-20 season. Jake Winter has declined a contract for personal reasons.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2019-20
CA contracts: Alex Carey, Travis Head, Adam Zampa.
Full contracts: Wes Agar, Tom Andrews, Tom Cooper, John Dalton, Callum Ferguson, David Grant, Jake Lehmann, Conor McInerney, Joe Mennie, Harry Nielsen, Patrick Page Jnr, Kane Richardson, Luke Robins, Alex Ross, Chadd Sayers, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter, Daniel Worrall.
Rookie contracts: Jacob Dickman, Henry Hunt, Spencer Johnson, Tim Oakley, Lloyd Pope, Ben Pengelley.
Image- Andrew Frackowski