Leg spinner Wil Parker, who made his Sheffield Shield debut last season has signed his first full Victorian contract, while Brody Couch (Geelong), Tom Jackson (Geelong), Cameron McClure (Essendon) and Todd Murphy (St Kilda) have all signed rookie contracts.
Wil Parker Monash Tigers Cricket Club
Making his Sheffield Shield debut in February against NSW, Parker impressed with figures of 3-54. Receiving a full contract, Parker will begin the 2020-21 season juggling his year 12 school commitments with cricket.
After being touted as a top 20 draft pick in the AFL, the 18-year-old had to make a decision between cricket and football.
“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.
“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.”
Tom Jackson (Rookie Contract) Geelong Cricket Club
Jackson has had a knack of making big scores, over the past two Victorian Premier Cricket seasons, the 19-year-old has gone past 100 five times. The highlight of these came in the 2018-19 season scoring 122 in the Victorian Premier Cricket Final at the CitiPower Centre.
A classy middle-order batter and a product of Geelong Cricket Club, Jackson has had experience in the Toyota Second XI competition for Victoria and will be looking to learn from the star-studded Victorian batting line up.
Todd Murphy (Rookie Contract) St Kilda Cricket Club
Australian Under 19 World Cup representative, Todd Murphy is an off-spinner held in high regard. Boasting three six wicket hauls in Victorian Premier Cricket over the last two seasons, Murphy has been selected to represent Victoria in Toyota Second XI on two occasions.
Murphy’s finest moment in the 2020 Under 19 World Cup came with the bat, partnering with fast bowler Connor Sully, eight wickets down, the pair needed 40 runs off the final three overs for victory. Murphy finished with 16 off 10 balls to knock England out of the tournament.
Brody Couch (Rookie Contract) Geelong Cricket Club
Fast bowler Brody Couch had a breakthrough season for Geelong in Victorian Premier Cricket, earning a debut for Victoria in the Toyota Second XI competition. Couch impressed with 3/36 in his first red ball match for the Victorian Second XI.
Cameron McClure (Rookie Contract) Essendon Cricket Club
Another young fast bowling prospect, McClure impressed on Victorian Premier Cricket First XI debut for Essendon early in the season claiming 4-52. McClure was then later called up to the U19 World Cup for Australia in January.
McClure has also played in a Cricket Australia exhibition game, taking 2-18 for a Gilchrist XI; played in the Victorian Second XI, and represented Vic Country in the National Under-19 Championships.
Jake Fraser-McGurk, Jono Merlo and Mitch Perry have all been upgraded to full contracts after being on rookie contracts last season.
Fraser-McGurk burst onto the scene in 2019-20, representing Australia in the U19 World Cup, as well as starring on debut on both the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup.
The 18-year old’s eye-catching attacking stroke play and fifties on debut in both tournaments had the cricket world talking. At 17, Fraser-McGurk become the third youngest Sheffield Shield debutant in Victoria’s history.
Fraser-McGurk is also contracted to the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC Big Bash League.
After making a debut in the Sheffield Shield and the Marsh Cup, Merlo has been upgraded to a full Victorian contact.
The 21-year-old has also played six matches for the Melbourne Stars and represented Australia in the 2018 U19 World Cup in New Zealand. The all-rounder’s highlight for Victoria was his second innings knock of 116 in the Toyota Second XI at the CitiPower Centre which led Victoria to an 18 run outright victory in November 2018.
A Marsh Cup debut and selection in the Cricket Australia XI to take on the visiting England Lions were the highlights for Perry in 2019-20. The 20-year-old fast bowler made his Victorian debut on the MCG against South Australia in November.
Perry has also impressed for club side Monash Tigers and the Victorian Second XI.