Bulls sign Khawaja & Hauritz
Friday June 29, 2012
Queensland Cricket has today confirmed that Australian and New South Wales representatives Usman Khawaja and Nathan Hauritz will join the Bulls for the next two seasons.
Khawaja, who played Test cricket for Australia last season, and Hauritz, who last donned the baggy green in 2010, agreed to terms last night after each approached Queensland about the opportunity to continue their careers with the Bulls.
Off-spinner Hauritz will commence pre-season training with the Bulls next week while Khawaja, 25, is currently playing for Derbyshire in England and is expected to link with Queensland in September.
The left-handed top order batsman has played six Tests for Australia and 40 first class games for New South Wales and Derbyshire, with a career aggregate of 3070 runs at 42.63, including nine centuries.
Khawaja, who scored his maiden first class century at the Gabba when he produced 112 against Queensland in 2008-09, said he was excited at the prospect of playing under Bulls coach Darren Lehmann, but also expressed his gratitude to New South Wales.
“The decision to join Queensland has been the toughest decision of my career, particularly because I had to leave my home, my mates, my family, and my clubs of Cricket NSW and Randwick Petersham,” he said.
“I owe a great deal to where I am, and what I’ve achieved, to Cricket NSW and the ‘Randy-Petes’. I would like to thank David Thompson, all the coaching and office staff, and all the players who’ve given me some great memories and even greater lessons about cricket.
“And to Bill Anderson and Mike Whitney for all they have done in what is one of the best run clubs in Australia.
“I’m extremely excited about joining Queensland and taking my cricket to the next level. I have a big role and it’s a perfect environment for me to grow as a player and a person.
“Darren and Trevor Hohns have meticulously crafted a team culture that is welcoming, yet very demanding. I look forward to playing my part in bringing the Queensland team great success in the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup championships,” Khawaja said.
Lehmann said what had impressed him about Khawaja was his willingness to move out of his comfort zone to pursue a fresh challenge with Queensland.
“The easy decision for Usman would have been to stay where he was, but to his credit, he got in touch with us to see whether there was an opportunity with the Bulls to take his game to a new level, and for that stance, I congratulate him,” he said.
“It was a mature cricket decision, based around joining a successful group and I’m very excited about him coming into our culture, developing his skills and growing as a player. I am certain he will be super keen to get here and throw himself into some hard work when his English commitments are done.”
Lehmann said the additions of Khawaja and Hauritz to the Queensland squad would provide a highly competitive environment which would hopefully bear fruit.
“Our charter is to get as many players in Australian teams as possible. Hopefully we will assist Usman and Horry to get back to that level, as well others getting other players in our squad to achieve the outcomes of making national sides and then excelling at the highest level.”
A decade after making his first class debut for Queensland, Lehmann said Hauritz would complement overall depth of the Bulls squad superbly.
“Queensland is always happy to have one of our own come home and Horry is a great example of that,” he said.
“He’s a world class off spinner, which fits in with how we are structuring our squad, and I am sure he is ready to demonstrate those skills for us and again reach the heights he has previously achieved.
“He showed me with the Heat that he is a calm, mature cricketer and we’re confident he will work beautifully with the Bulls group.”
Originally from Hervey Bay, Hauritz joined New South Wales in 2006-07 after playing 28 first class matches for the Bulls, taking 49 wickets.
He appeared in 17 matches for New South Wales, claiming 42 wickets including a career best 5-39.
Hauritz, who has taken 50 Test wickets in his 17 appearances for Australia, had a strong series against Pakistan in 2009-10.
He claimed 5-101, his maiden five-wicket haul, at the MCG, and then improved on that in the next Test at the SCG, taking 5-53 in the second innings as Australia snatched a remarkable comeback victory.
The 30-year-old overcame major shoulder surgery last year and was an inaugural member of the Brisbane Heat squad for the first KFC T20 Big Bash League.
He enjoyed the experience with the Heat, where he was coached by Lehmann and played alongside close friends James Hopes and Chris Hartley.
He made contact with Queensland Cricket during the off-season about the possibility of returning home, a decision he said was delighted to be returning to the Bulls camp after gaining valuable experience and exposure with New South Wales.
“I left Queensland looking for opportunity and gained that with New South Wales, and for that, I am eternally grateful,” he said.
“I was able to realise my dream of playing for Australia and thoroughly enjoyed playing cricket with New South Wales and with Randwick-Petersham. My wife Di and I enjoyed living in Sydney, but when the possibility emerged for us to come back home, it was too good to miss.”
“The chance to work with ‘Boof’ and get back to playing with the guys I grew up was very attractive and the fact I enjoyed my time with the Brisbane Heat last season reinforced that it was the right way to go.”
“I still believe I can play for Australia and I’m confident the way the Bulls play and the group they have will help me with that goal,” he said.
Queensland Chairman of Selectors Trevor Hohns expects to finalise the 2012-13 Bulls squad early next week with first round contracts to be lodged with Cricket Australia.
The Bulls are the defending Bupa Sheffield Shield champions.
• Have a view on this story? Send us your feedback!
Socceroos Power Rankings return
I'm not done here yet: Clarkson
Wally's Wimbledon moments: 10-6
Welsh dominate Lions first Test side
Crows, come and yell at Kurt: Jonas
Le Mans 24 Hours live on SPEED
'Suarez shouldn't be blinded by loyalty'
Carroll joins West Ham permanently
Godwin extends stay with Force
Wallabies squad for Lions Tour confirmed
Waratahs earn courageous win over experienced Force side
Boomers level series with China thrashing
Phoenix release five players
Reds score two tries in historic Lions tour match
McBreen to join Ibini in Shanghai
Six-try victory shoots Brumbies into finals
China holds off late Boomers fightback