POSSIBILITY: NSW squad member Jason Sangha at home in Newcastle in August. The Blues play in Adelaide from Tuesday. Picture: Marina NeilJason Sangha’s long-awaited Sheffield Shield debut for NSW will be determined by conditions at theAdelaide Oval on Tuesday, but regardless the Newcastle cricketer has been put in a strong position to earn his maidenstate cap before Christmas.
Following the conclusion of the JLT Cup last week, the Blues are now setting for the first of six longer-form matches in the space of the next two months and Sangha was named in the 12-man squad that travelled to South on Monday morning.
However, the 19-year-old’s inclusion in the NSWfirst XI for the opening round of the four-day domestic competition will come down to the nature of the pitch in South .
Blues captain and former n wicketkeeper Peter Nevill will weigh up whether to play untriedright-handed batsman Sangha, who also provides a leg-spin option, or fellow potential debutantDaniel Sams, a 25-year-oldseam-bowlingall-rounder.
Jack Edwards, 18, is also in contention for a NSW spot and could make his Shield debut for the Blues soon after top scoring with 273 runs at an average of 54.6 during his maiden JLT Cup outings.
Sams also shone recently for NSW in the JLT Cup with nine wickets at 22.4 apiece and 152 runs at just under 40.
Sangha was named in the Blues’ initial 14 for Perth, but didn’t play any one-day games and has since lined-up for ACT-NSW Country in Futures League and Randwick-Petersham in the Sydney first grade competition.
Nevill said final selections would come down to the state of the wicket.
“We’ll have to go and have a look at what the wicket is likeover there,” Nevill told the Big Sports Breakfast in a radio interview on Monday morning.“We should get over there this afternoon and have a look at the pitch.
“But if he [Edwards] does get his opportunity I’m sure he is going to be up to the task.
“I’m very excited to see, not only him but Jason Sangha and Daniel Sams [as well]. Twoof those guys will get their opportunity to debut, so it’s going to bepretty exciting to see what they can do.”
If n under-19 captain Sangha was given the nod, the former Wallsend and Southern Lakes player would become the first from Newcastleto make aShield debut for NSW since Burt Cockley in 2007-08 and the first to don aBlues uniform since Mark Cameron in 2010-11.
He would be the first batsman in the state side since Greg Geise in 1984-85.
NSW have another five Shield fixtures this side of New Year, finishing with South at the SCGfrom December 7.
The Blues travel to the MCG next to meet Victoria from October 25.
They then host Tasmania, most likely in Wollongong (November 3) after initial venue Wagga Wagga was boycotted last week, and Queenslandin Canberra (November 16) before heading to Perth Stadium to clash with Western (November 27).
Play on Tuesday is scheduled to start at 11am (AEST).
Meanwhile, Sangha received the “Spirit of Sport” trophy at the India Business and Community Awards in Brisbane on the weekend.
NSW BLUES: Peter Nevill (c), Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Stephen O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha.