Keeping young talent in Queensland remains a challenge
CRICKET: A Queensland cricket selector admits it's hard to keep home-grown talent in the state, with so many young all-rounders vying for spots.
Case-in-point is Sunshine Coast product James Bazley, who was the target of a campaign by Tasmania to lure the 21-year-old to Hobart's Sheffield Shield set-up.
The Sunshine Coast Scorcher was picked up by the Hobart Hurricanes for the T20 Big Bash this season, but didn't get a start in eight matches.
Convener of selectors Justin Sternes believes that's nothing to be sneezed at, and he believes Bazley has what it takes to be a real threat for Queensland in the future.
"Sometimes when you've got a lot of talent it's hard to keep them because there's not many opportunities at the top level,” he said.
"But we think JB has got a lot of ability and hopefully we can keep him here to continue putting pressure on the all-rounders in the Bulls (Shield and ODD) teams.”
Sternes was impressed most recently when Bazley joined fellow Coast product Bryce Street in the Queensland 2nd XI for a match against NSW in the Futures League.
"The way he batted in that second innings when the game was on the line was great ... he played with real aggression and positive intent,” he said.
"That's the way forward for him.”
Bazley has fired with the ball in first-grade cricket this season, but has failed to set the world alight with the bat.
"He's swinging the ball and is a good, strong lad. He's still finding his way with the bat at the moment. He's showing signs and training really hard on working out how to approach his batting.”
Bazley told the Daily in December his plan was to remain in the Sunshine State.
"I'm really happy with state cricket in Queensland,” he said.
"Everything is really good here and I really like it here. I want to try and break into the Shield team but it's really strong competition. I'll keep working hard and keep putting performances on the board and ... hopefully move into the Queensland side.”