Sixteen-year-old batsman Jason Sangha has become the youngest player ever contracted by New South Wales after he was handed a rookie deal for the 2016-17 season. The Blues have finalized their squad list for next summer and another teenager, the 18-year-old Arjun Nair, who last season made debut for his state at the age of 17, has received a full contract.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jay Lenton and top order batsman Ryan Gibson have earned a full contract while off-spinner Chris Green and fast bowler Liam Hatcher have been handed rookie deals. Opening batsman Daniel Solway, who held a rookie contract last season, has missed out on this year’s list.
The inclusion of Sangha came after he enjoyed a meteoric through the junior ranks last summer, starting the season in he New South Wales Under 15 Schoolboys team before also bring picked in the Cricket Australia Invitation sides for both Under 17 and Under 19 National Championship.
A batsman from Newcastle, Sangha was also picked in Australia’s Under 19 team in January and scored 102 on Youth ODI debut against Pakistan in Dubai. He will juggle his training with the Blues and his year 11 high school commitments throughout the rest of 2016.
“New South Wales has a long tradition of backing young talent and we are delighted to be able to bring Jason Sangha, Arjun Nair, Liam Hatcher and Chris Green into the Blues squad this summer,” Andrew Jones, the Cricket New South Wales CEO, said.
“Along with Mickey Edwards, Jonte Pattison, and Henry Thornton, these rookies have a tremendous amount of potential and we look forward to seeing them develop under the guidance of the Blues coaching staff and senior players.
“The Blues had a solid summer in 2015-16, winning the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup and achieving the best win-loss record in the Sheffield Shield. The squad also supplied the majority of the Australian Test team. Our challenge now is to build on this momentum, to defend the Matador Cup and win the Sheffield Shield.”