Stanlake inspired by Cummins comeback
AUSTRALIAN cricket's towering inferno Billy Stanlake is on course to play his first Sheffield Shield match in three years for Queensland next summer.
Stanlake is off to England for the first time in his life to bowl for the Australian 50- and 20-over sides next month and the giant fast bowler is gradually building his resilience towards a return to four-day cricket.
His only two first-class matches were against South Australia and New South Wales late in 2015 when he created an immediate impression by roughing up several experienced first-class batsmen and taking seven wickets in the two games.
Australia has limited his workload over the past few years due to his vulnerability to injury but red ball cricket is now officially back on his radar.
"If everything goes well and all goes to plan I will get the chance to play more red ball cricket next season,'' Stanlake said.
Australia has at times been accused of being over protective of Stanlake but he has been inspired by the deeds of Pat Cummins who morphed from one of Australia's most brittle performers into a fast bowling powerhouse through patient management.
"To see him doing so well and his body holding up gives me great confidence,'' Stanlake said of Cummins.
"It can be hard from the outside to see what is happening behind the scenes to get players ready but you can see by how well he is going now and how his body is holding up that is a lesson for me in that I have gone done a similar injury path.''
The 204cm quick is being groomed as the likely X-factor in Australia's challenge for the 50-over World Cup in England next year.
Queensland has named its contract list for next season with young fast bowlers Xavier Bartlett, 19, and Jack Prestwidge, 22, the new faces on the main list.
Queensland selection chairman Justin Sternes said he expected Australian batsman Chris Lynn would also train with the squad closer to the start of the season even though he has again not chased a contract.
After a string of shoulder injuries Lynn is not contracted to Queensland or Australia partially because he is being assessed as a special case whose fitness will be assessed after the Indian Premier League to plot a path towards the World Cup.
Lynn has a long term deal with the Brisbane Heat and may yet play 50 over cricket for the Bulls next season even though his red ball days appear over.
Batsman Peter Forrest, who took up a coaching role with Hawkesbury in the NSW Premier Competition at the end of the 2017-18 season, and all-rounder Ben Cutting, who announced his retirement from first class cricket last month, were not contracted by Queensland.
QUEENSLAND CONTRACTS: Xavier Bartlett, Joe Burns, Brendan Doggett, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Cameron Gannon, Peter George, Sam Heazlett, Charlie Hemphrey, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Lachlan Pfeffer, James Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Sam Truloff, Jack Wildermuth.
Rookie contracts: Max Bryant, Blake Edwards, Matthew Kuhnemann, Nathan McSweeney, Bryce Street, Connor Sully.
Queensland's Australian contracts: Usman Khawaja, Matthew Renshaw, Billy Stanlake.