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Aussie Test spinner cut loose by state

The path has been cleared for an interstate move for Australian Test spinner Matt Kuhnemann after he was released by Queensland for the 2024-25 season.

Kuhnemann was one of six players to drop off the Bulls’ contract list for next summer along with veteran opener Joe Burns as the side attempts to refresh its batting stocks after finishing bottom of the table in the Sheffield Shield.

The 27-year-old left-arm spinner did not feature in the Shield at all last season despite his impressive performances following a late call-up Australia’s tour of India in February 2023.

He instead played only one-day matches for Queensland as selectors preferred Mitch Swepson in red-ball cricket and is expected to move to Tasmania for more opportunity in the longer format.

Kuhnemann remains contracted to the Brisbane Heat in the BBL after he starred in their run to the title last summer bowling alongside Swepson.

Burns, 34, produced a solid Sheffield Shield campaign with 446 runs at 37.16 but was overlooked for a contract.

It’s unclear whether the 23-Test opener will seek to play on with another state, while he is also without a BBL contract for next season following the end of his three-year deal at the Melbourne Stars.

Queensland handed right-arm off-spinner Jack Sinfield his first full contract to replace Kuhnemann, while four members of Australia’s triumphant Under-19 World Cup team were included on the playing list.

Australian captain Hugh Weibgen and pace bowler Callum Vidler, who took five wickets in his Shield debut at the end of the season, were issued full contracts, while the Bulls also lured across NSW teenage quick Tom Straker on a rookie contract.

The Bulls also gave a full contract to Queenslander Lachlan Hearne, who played four Shield games for NSW over the previous three seasons.

Queensland cricket boss Joe Dawes said the Bulls, who are also searching for a new coach after the resignation of Wade Seccombe, were “ultra keen” to hand opportunities to their younger players.

“It’s an exciting group of young players who come into the group and we’re ultra keen to see them make the most of the opportunity they have earned,’’ he said.

“Our results last season certainly weren’t to the level that we expect from the Bulls.

“Everyone involved with the group knows there are areas we can improve upon, and we are committed to working together to achieve better performances next season.”

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