Mark Steketee bats for Queensland in Sheffield Shield last season.
Mark Steketee bats for Queensland in Sheffield Shield last season. Luke Bowden

Historic first Sheffield Shield game starts Sunday

A PACEMAN with Australian experience has been given a break and another dropped but Warwick paceman Mark Steketee has retained his place in the Queensland Bulls squad for the historic first Sheffield Shield game in Mackay starting Sunday.  

Steketee was brought up on turf wickets in Warwick so won't be fazed playing at a country venue like Harrup Park in Mackay.  

The game will be especially significant for all-rounder James Hopes when he takes to the Harrup Park arena.  

The 37-year-old will play his 100th first class match for Queensland, becoming just the 15th player to achieve the century of games for his State.    

RELATED: New South Wales team announced for the weekend match

Hopes, who brought up his 100th career first class game earlier in the season, is also one game away from making triple figures in his Sheffield Shield career for Queensland.    

Hopes is the leading wicket-taker so far this season for the Bulls, with 14 dismissals at 19.07.    

His career tally for the Bulls now stands at 282 wickets at 26.05.  

Fast bowler Luke Feldman in on track to play his opening first class match of the summer after being named today in Bulls squad to take on NSW from Sunday.  

Feldman and fellow quick Billy Stanlake are the two changes to the Bulls side that lost outright to NSW in Sydney earlier this week.   Cutting will be rested while all-rounder Jack Wildermuth has been squeezed out with the inclusion of the extra fast bowler.  

Queensland Convenor of Selectors Justin Sternes said the changes continued to reflect the selection panel's desire to reduce workload intensity in key players.  

"Ben has played all of the Matador Cup and the four Shield games to date and has maintained some significant bowling and batting workloads,'' he said.   

"We're conscious that there is a lot more cricket to come this season and it is timely to give him some additional recovery time."  

Feldman performed strongly for the Queensland Academy of Sport in their loss to WA last week in the Toyota Futures League match, while Stanlake took seven wickets in his debut first class match two weeks ago.  

The Bulls travel to Mackay on Saturday to prepare for the game at Harrup Park.  

Team: 

Chris Hartley (c)

Luke Feldman

Jason Floros

Sam Heazlett

Scott Henry

James Hopes

Marnus Labuschagne

Nathan Reardon

Matthew Renshaw

Billy Stanlake

Mark Steketee

Mitch Swepson

(12th man to be named at the toss)  


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