Victoria [Australia], June 24 (ANI): Spinner Wil Parker has opted for a professional cricket career over Australian Rules Football by signing a full contract with Victoria for the 2020-21 season.
The 18-year-old made his first-class debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) where he claimed four wickets to help Victoria to win the game.
He is also a talented footballer, who was tipped as a top-20 pick in the Australian Football League (AFL) draft and had earned interest from some clubs, so he had a decision to make as to which sport he would pursue at the professional level. The lack of football being played in age-group competitions due to Covid-19, which left Parker unable to showcase his ability, was a big part in the process, ESPNcricinfo reported.
In total 28 players have been named in the men's squad including three Cricket Australia contracted players - Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and James Pattinson - and six rookie-listed players.
Joining Parker in the squad are first-time rookies Brody Couch (Geelong), Tom Jackson (Geelong), Cameron McClure (Essendon) and Todd Murphy (St Kilda).
"Wil Parker is a talented athlete and we're excited he's chosen to pursue cricket," Cricket Victoria's General Manager of Cricket Shaun Graf said in a statement.
"He gave us a glimpse of what he's got to offer in his two Shield games last season, we believe he's got the skill and temperament to succeed in what is a difficult cricketing artform. His initial experiences last season will hopefully give him some added confidence moving forward in his career," he added.
Peter Siddle has departed for Tasmania while Chris Tremain will join New South Wales. Andrew Fekete (retired), Aaron Ayre, Jackson Coleman, Jake Reed, Eamonn Vines and Ed Newman (rookie) were not offered contracts for the upcoming season.
Tremain departs Victoria having picked up 209 wickets in 54 First-Class games for the state and was awarded the Bill Lawry Medal in 2017-18.
Victorian Men's squad: Scott Boland, Xavier Crone, Travis Dean, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sebastian Gotch, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jonathan Merlo, Tom O'Connell, Wil Parker, James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matthew Short and Will Sutherland. (ANI)