Sport

Hauritz eager to don Wide Bay colours in M'boro match

Nathan Hauritz has put his hand up to play for Wide Bay on home soil against a touring under-22 side from Indian province Madhya Pradesh.
Nathan Hauritz has put his hand up to play for Wide Bay on home soil against a touring under-22 side from Indian province Madhya Pradesh. AAP IMAGE/LINCOLN BAKER

HE'S been dumped by the Queensland Bulls, but Nathan Hauritz is still keen to play cricket - for Wide Bay.

As reported in yesterday's Chronicle, Wide Bay will play a three-day match and a one-dayer against a touring under-22 side from Indian province Madhya Pradesh from August 30 to September 2 at Newtown Oval in Maryborough.

The Wide Bay squad, expected to be named next week, will contain Queensland Country representatives and some of the region's brightest rising stars.

But the prospect of a former Test spinner in the ranks is sure to create a buzz among cricket fans.

Hauritz, Hervey Bay's most decorated cricketer, told the Chronicle he has put his hand up for selection to play in the international fixture.

"I would jump at the chance to help out if they want a bit of help," Hauritz, who took 63 wickets in 17 Test matches for Australia, including a five-wicket haul on debut in 2004, said.

"Obviously because I'm working now it's a bit different, but if they (Wide Bay) plan it well enough ahead of schedule, I wouldn't see any reason why not.

"It would also give me a bit of a hit-out.

"The Indians play spin quite well, even if it is a young touring side, they grew up with it and they would play me pretty easily I would have thought."

Hauritz, who has entered the real estate world with a job at McGrath Ascot in Brisbane, last sported the Wide Bay colours 17 years ago at the under-15 state championships.

Hauritz said he might not be able to commit to the entire three-day game, but would be ready to roll the arm over for Wide Bay if they wanted him to play in the one-dayer.

Wide Bay coach Noel Stitt said the 32 year old would be an important acquisition to the side, highlighting the need for an experienced head to help the younger lads.

"It would be great to have Nathan play," he said.

"For some of our guys to play with someone who has played for Queensland and Australia would be a huge thing.

"It's also a boost back to our area and good to see him back playing in our area where he has played all his junior cricket."

Wide Bay selectors would be mad not to accept Hauritz's nomination.

Not only would he bring a wealth of experience to the squad, but would also bring in the crowds and provide cricket some much-needed exposure in the area.

It's been two months since Hauritz was cut from the Bulls' contract list. He is also no longer contracted to 2012-2013 Big Bash League champions Brisbane Heat.

Hauritz said being dropped by the Bulls was "extremely disappointing", but is refusing to call stumps on his cricket career.

He will pad up for Northern Suburbs in the grade cricket competition this summer in the hope of forcing his way back into the state team, and is also a chance of securing a BBL contract with one of the Heat's rivals.

"I thought I offered a lot to them (the Bulls) in the one-day scene last season," he said.

"The four-day cricket, I knew I was a back-up spinner to Boycey (Cameron Boyce) and look, I did a job.

"But they want to play Boycey in one-day cricket and I was told by the selectors they would call on me if things get desperate.

"I've started bowling again in the last two weeks and try to keep fit every day.

"I still love the game and will keep playing cricket for as long as I can."



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