Home » Bulls release Burns, Kuhnemann to seek interstate opportunity | cricket.com.au

Bulls release Burns, Kuhnemann to seek interstate opportunity | cricket.com.au

Australian-capped pair won’t be part of the Queensland Bulls squad next season after limited playing time in 2023-24

Former Australian opener Joe Burns has lost his Queensland Bulls contract with fellow Test-capped spinner Matthew Kuhnemann also released to pursue playing opportunities interstate.

Kuhnemann, who didn’t feature in Queensland’s Marsh Sheffield Shield team at all last season despite representing Australia just over a year ago, and Australia A at first-class level last September, has been linked with a move to Tasmania.

Test-capped leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson was preferred over Kuhnemann’s left-arm finger spin as the Bulls finished at the foot of the Shield table for the first time in 16 years.

Queensland Bulls 2024-25 contract list: Xavier Bartlett*, Max Bryant, Hugo Burdon, Jack Clayton, Liam Guthrie, Lachlan Hearne, Usman Khawaja*, Marnus Labuschagne*, Angus Lovell, Ben McDermott, Michael Neser, Jimmy Pierson, Matthew Renshaw, Gurinder Sandhu, Jack Sinfield, Mark Steketee, Connor Sully, Mitch Swepson, Bryce Street, Callum Vidler, Hugh Weibgen, Jack Wildermuth. Rookies: Tom Whitney, Lachlan Aitken, Jem Ryan, Tom Straker


Ins: Angus Lovell, Lachlan Hearne, Callum Vidler, Lachlan Aitken, Jem Ryan, Tom Straker


Outs: Joe Burns, James Bazley, Blake Edwards, Aryan Jain, Matthew Kuhnemann, Will Prestwidge


* Denotes Cricket Australia contract

Swepson was one of the side’s best performed bowlers (30 wickets at 32.06) during the disastrous campaign. Kuhnemann was Queensland’s main 50-over spinner, playing all seven Marsh One-Day Cup games last season to Swepson’s one for a return of five wickets.

Kuhnemann was parachuted from a Sheffield Shield match at the MCG to debut for Australia in the second Test against India in Delhi in February last year, but made only one red-ball appearance for Queensland during the 2023-24 summer, in the Second XI in February where he took 6-103 in the second innings.

The 27-year-old was a crucial member of Brisbane Heat’s KFC BBL|13 title-winning XI where he bowled in tandem with Swepson and he remains under contract for another two seasons.

He had previously been linked with a move to the Melbourne Stars last year before opting to sign a three-year deal to remain with the Heat. His touted move to Tasmania will see him compete with Jarrod Freeman for a spot in the four-day format after the off-spinner helped the Tigers to a Shield final appearance with a consistent 18-wicket campaign.

Burns, meanwhile, was left out of the Bulls’ final three Shield matches of the season. He was their third highest run-scorer and third best averaging batter for the 2023-24 campaign with 446 at 37.16 in seven matches, which included a knock of 133 against Tasmania last October.

The 34-year-old, who represented the country in 23 Tests, likely finishes his Queensland career as the state’s sixth most prolific batter in the Sheffield Shield (7361 runs at 39.36) and is also their sixth most capped Shield player with 112 appearances.

But as reported by cricket.com.au yesterday, the state appears keen to move in a new direction with full contracts offered to Australia under-19 stars Callum Vidler and Hugh Weibgen, and their World Cup-winning teammates Tom Straker and Lachlan Aitken.

Burns has spent time away from the Queensland squad over the past few months due to a family bereavement and it yet to fully weigh up his playing future. He is also out of contract at the Melbourne Stars.

Pace bowling allrounder James Bazley, right-arm seamer Blake Edwards, top-order batter Aryan Jain and young quick Will Prestwidge also drop off the Queensland list for next season.

Burns pulls Queensland out of trouble with classy ton

Applications to replace Wade Seccombe, who resigned as Bulls head coach in March, closed earlier this month, and it’s understood up to four or five candidates will be taken through to the next round of interviews.

“Our results last season certainly weren’t to the level that we expect from the Bulls,” said Joe Dawes, Queensland Cricket’s general manager of Elite Cricket.

“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.

“As has been the case in the past, the players going off the list will have the chance to be upgraded to a playing contract during the season through selection in the Bulls first-class and one-day teams based on their efforts at Premier Cricket and second XI level.

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“We are confident they will continue to play a positive role in cricket and wish them every success in the future.”

There will be six new faces in the Bulls squad next season with former NSW batter Lachlan Hearne, opening batter Angus Lovell and seamer Jem Ryan joining the Australian under-19 trio of Vidler, Aitken and Straker.

Lovell, 24, played the final four games of the Sheffield Shield season off the back of impressive performances in Premier Cricket and the Queensland Second XI.

Hearne, a former Australian under-19 representative, previously played a one-dayer and four first-class games for NSW for a top score of 65. He also earned his spot on the contract list with a strong season for the Queensland Second XI and club side Toombul where he hit an unbeaten 202 from 216 balls last October.

Weibgen, Hugo Burdon, who made his List A debut for the Bulls in February, and off-spinner Jack Sinfield, who played three Shield matches in 2022-23, have earned promotion from the rookie list to full contracts.

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