New South Wales

Batsmen: Ed Cowan, Daniel Hughes, Nic Maddinson, Kurtis Patterson,
All-rounders: Moises Henriques (c), Chris Green,
Wicket keepers: Ryan Carters, Peter Nevill,
Bowlers: Doug Bollinger, Harry Conway, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Lyon, Steve O’Keefe, Gurinder Sandhu
Coach: Trent Johnston

In case you forgot
Matador Cup 2015 final position: 1st (five wins, one loss), champions after finals.
Leading run-scorer: Steve Smith (435)
Leading wicket taker: Mitch Starc (26)

Obviously a lot of NSW’s first choice team is out with national duty and injury, but it’s still a very strong side. Cowan, Maddinson and Patterson are perhaps the best top three in the tournament, and Test ‘keeper Nevill will want to prove his limited overs credentials. O’Keefe is now alcohol and injury free and if he forms a strong partnership with Lyon, the Blues will be tough to beat. The middle overs should not be underrated. Missing Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, Shane Watson, Josh Hazlewood and Sean Abbott from last year’s squad.

Queensland

Batsmen: Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Chris Lynn, Nathan Reardon, Matthew Renshaw,
All-rounders: Jason Floros (c), Ben Cutting, Michael Neser,
Wicket keeper: Jimmy Peirson,
Bowlers: Luke Feldman, Cameron Gannon, Peter George, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson.
Coach: Phil Jacques

In case you forgot
Matador Cup 2015 final position: 6th (two wins, four losses)
Leading run-scorer: Nathan Reardon (315)
Leading wicket taker: Mark Steketee (11)

The Queenslanders will fancy themselves in this competition and for good reason: they have quality, experienced players in all departments. Floros is an unexpected choice as captain but he has shown glimpses himself in the past with bat and ball. Burns, Lynn and Cutting all have a point to prove with national spots up for grabs this summer.

South Australia

Batsmen: Callum Ferguson (c), Tom Cooper, Jake Lehmann, Alex Ross, Jake Weatherald
All-rounders: Alex Gregory
Wicket keepers: Tim Ludeman, Alex Carey
Bowlers: Wes Agar, Tom Andrews, Kane Richardson, Nicholas Benton, Cameron Valente, Michael Cormack.
Coach: Jamie Siddons

In case you forgot
Matador Cup 2015 final position: 3rd (four wins, two losses), runners-up after finals.
Leading run-scorer: Callum Ferguson (328)
Leading wicket taker: Kane Richardson (15)

The thing that stands out about the Redbacks’ squad is the inexperience of the bowling attack. Joe Mennie, Adam Zampa and Daniel Worrall are with the Aussies, and Chadd Sayers has been left out. It means the uncapped Cormack, Benton, Valente and Agar (yep, that’s Ashton’s younger brother) will be called upon to play big roles alongside Richardson and left-arm spinner Andrews, who we saw in the last edition. Best of luck to new captain Callum Ferguson.

Tasmania

Batsmen: Dominic Michael, Alex Doolan,
All-rounders: Beau Webster, Simon Milenko,
Wicket keepers: Tim Paine (c), Ben Dunk, Ben McDermott, Jake Doran.
Bowlers: Xavier Doherty, Hamish Kingston, Cameron Stevenson, Jackson Bird, Andrew Fekete, Cameron Boyce.
Coach: Dan Marsh

In case you forgot
Matador Cup 2015 final position: 4th (three wins, three losses)
Leading run-scorer: Ben Dunk (300)
Leading wicket taker: James Faulkner (11)

Not too many surprises here in a settled squad for the Tigers. Excited to see how Boyce performs in his new colours, and we could see them play four wicket keepers again, like last season. How exciting! Bird and Fekete had poor tournaments during the last Matador and will be crucial if Tassie are to climb the table.

Victoria

Batsmen: Pete Handscomb (c), Marcus Harris, Rob Quiney, Cameron White
All-rounders: Dan Christian, Ian Holland, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis,
Wicket keeper: Aaron Ayre,
Bowlers: Fawad Ahmed, Michael Beer, Jackson Coleman, Matt Doric, Jon Holland
Coach: Andrew McDonald

In case you forgot
Matador Cup 2015 final position: 2nd (four wins, two losses), third after finals.
Leading run-scorer: Marcus Stoinis (205)
Leading wicket taker: James Pattinson & Jon Holland (14)

A new coach and new expectations for the Victorians this season. Handscomb takes the captaincy with Matthew Wade and Aaron Finch with Australia and it shouldn’t be long before he joins them. The acquisition of Beer is an unusual one, especially with Ahmed, Holland and Maxwell already in the squad. A good mix of experienced campaigners and fresh blood means the Bushrangers will be gunning for another top three finish.

Western Australia

Batsmen: Adam Voges (c), Cameron Bancroft, Michael Klinger, Shaun Marsh, Jonathan Wells
All-rounders: Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Turner,
Wicket keeper: Sam Whiteman
Bowlers: Jason Behrendorff, David Moody, Joel Paris, Nathan Rimmington, Andrew Tye.
Coach: Justin Langer

In case you forgot
Matador Cup 2015 final position: 5th (two wins, four losses)
Leading run-scorer: Shaun Marsh (390)
Leading wicket taker: Andrew Tye (11)

Western Australia had a nightmare tournament last time around and coach Langer would be demanding improvements. They have three of the most exciting all-rounders in the country: Agar, Cartwright and Turner. Notably, the return from injury for two of the big names Marsh and Behrendorff will add a lot of class to the Warriors. Pressure will be on youngsters Whiteman, Bancroft and Paris to perform where it matters, with their names being thrown around Australian circles.

Cricket Australia XI

Batsmen: William Bosisto (c) (WA), Jake Carder (WA), Ryan Gibson (NSW),
All-rounders: Matthew Short (VIC), James Bazley (QLD),
Wicket keepers: Sam Harper (VIC), Josh Inglis (WA),
Bowlers: David Grant (SA), Sam Grimwade (VIC), Arjun Nair (NSW), Thomas O’Donnell (VIC), Jhye Richardson (WA), Ryan Lees (TAS), Liam Hatcher (NSW).
Coach: Brad Hodge

In case you forgot
Matador Cup 2015 final position: 7th (one win, five losses)
Leading run-scorer: Marcus Harris (184)
Leading wicket taker: Jack Wildermuth (6)

Like it or lump it, the Cricket Australia XI are back for another tournament. Five of its squad from last year now have a spot in a state squad, and that’s exactly what it is there for: to provide a pathway for exciting young cricketers. Bosisto captains them again, and several of the CA XI squad played with the NPS last month including Short, Harper, Inglis, Grant, Nair and O’Donnell. Brad Hodge takes charge of his second cricket team (following on from the Gujarat Lions in the IPL), so his influence on the young cricketers will be fascinating.

Matches begin on October 1 with Queensland playing CA XI in Brisbane. For the full fixture, click here.

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