Sixers stars Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe have all been added to the NSW Blues squad for the Matador Cup following the postponement of the Australian Tour of Bangladesh.
The quartet were all originally selected to take part in the two Test tour of Bangladesh, but have been now been added back into the state squad, forming one of the strongest domestic teams seen in years.
They join Sixers teammates Nic Maddinson, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger and Ryan Carters. The Tournament, which is played entirely in NSW at grounds such as Bankstown, Hurstville, Drummoyne and Blacktown, is free to attend for Sixers members.
Steve Smith, who will captain the Blues, said while disappointed over the cancellation of the Bangladesh Tour, the opportunity to play in the Domestic One Day Cup would be one he would savour.
“We’ve got a really strong squad, and I’m really excited to be playing in the Matador Cup now,” he said.
“It’s going to be a good tournament with all of the Australian players and playing, and that is one positive we can take out of this postponed Bangladesh Tour.”
SWITCH HIT: Sixers sign Emily Leys
With a squad boasting thirteen players with International experience, Smith believes that the tournament could present a strong opportunity for the Blues to go one better than there runners-up finish in last year’s competition.
“It’s a great opportunity for NSW. I think we’ve got a very good squad together, and guys know there roles really well. So hopefully we can start off well on Monday and build some momentum into the tournament.”
With so many stars available to the selectors some tough choices will have to be made, but according to Smith, the Sixers spin twins, Lyon and O’Keefe, are a chance to be selected alongside each other.
“I think there’s a good chance that they’ll both be playing together,” he said.
"I think some of the wickets will be a bit lower and slower and conducive to spin, so there’s a good chance we’ll see them in the same side."
NSW Blues squad for Matador Cup:
Steve Smith (c), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Ryan Carters, Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Stephen O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Gurinder Sandhu, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson