JLT Sheffield Shield 2018-19

Victoria cut eight players for 2018-19

Young guns backed by Victoria as three former internationals are farewelled

Martin Smith

15 May 2018, 01:05 PM AEST

Victoria have confirmed the exits of former Australia representatives Fawad Ahmed and Dan Christian, while young guns Will Sutherland and Mackenzie Harvey have been handed full contracts for the first time.

The Vics have cut eight players from their contract list, headlined by leg-spinner Ahmed, allrounder Christian and former Australia quick John Hastings, who confirmed his retirement last year.

James Muirhead, Blake Thomson, Guy Walker, Jackson Koop and Tom O’Donnell have also been let go.

Headlining the new faces are allrounder Sutherland and gun teenager Harvey, the nephew of former Australia allrounder Ian, along with left-handed batsman Eamonn Vines, off-spinner Sam Grimwade and leg-spinner Tom O'Connell.

O'Connell, 17, has moved across from South Australia and signed a multi-year deal despite being yet to play at domestic level.

Fast bowler Wes Agar, the brother of Australia spinner Ashton, has been signed on a rookie deal having previously been contracted with South Australia.

Selector Andrew Lynch said he was excited about the influx of young talent to the squad.

"I’m pleased that we’ve been able to upgrade the likes of Will Sutherland and Mackenzie Harvey on to full contracts and enable Tom O’Connell to continue his career development in Victoria," he said.

"From my perspective it’s about working with Andrew McDonald to strike the right balance of youth and experience and I think we’ve got that.

"I’d also like to thank Fawad Ahmed, John Hastings and Dan Christian in particular for their contributions to Victorian cricket in recent years."

Skipper Peter Handscomb, batsman Aaron Finch and allrounder Glenn Maxwell are all centrally contracted by Cricket Australia.

Meanwhile, Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning has returned to the women's squad after missing last season due to injury, while her sister Anna was one of three players let go.

Anna Lanning, Hayleigh Brennan and Gemma Triscari (retirement) have all lost their deals, while Elly Donald, Amy Vine and Courtney Neale come in.

Cricket Victoria have also announced the men's team will no longer be known as 'The Bushrangers', with both the men's and women's teams to simply be referred to as Victoria.

The 'VicSpirit' moniker used for the women's team in recent years has also been dissolved.

2018-19 Victorian Men's Squad

CA contracts: Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell

Full contracts: Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Xavier Crone, Travis Dean, Aaron Finch, Sebastian Gotch, Sam Grimwade, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Glenn Maxwell, Tom O’Connell, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Jake Reed, Matthew Short, Peter Siddle, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Eamonn Vines, Cameron White

Rookie contracts: Wes Agar, Zak Evans, Jonathan Merlo, Edward Newman, Mitch Perry, Patrick Rowe

2018-19 Victorian Women’s Squad

CA contracts: Meg Lanning, Sophie Molineux

State contracts: Kristen Beams, Makinley Blows, Elly Donald, Nicole Faltum, Emma Inglis, Alana King, Courtney Neale, Rhiann O’Donnell, Chloe Rafferty, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Amy Vine, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham