Whiteman to return after long absence

19 January 2018

Left-hander returns for the Scorchers, will play as a batsman against the Hurricanes in the BBL

Sam Whiteman is set to play his first domestic match in nearly a year, but the highly-rated wicketkeeper will not take the gloves in his return from a serious finger injury.

Whiteman has been sidelined since last January after he fractured his right index finger in the BBL final while keeping to speedster Mitchell Johnson.

After the initial surgery failed to fix the damaged digit, he went under the knife again in September.

Whiteman has been named as a specialist batsman in Perth Scorchers' 13-player squad to face Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday and the Western Australian remains in doubt to take the gloves at all this season.

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The 25-year-old has played two games for his WA Premier Cricket side Fremantle this year as a batsman only, scoring a 57-ball 60 against Melville on Saturday. He also got through a Scorchers' centre-wicket practice unscathed on Thursday.

Whiteman represented Australia A in 2016 and has been tipped by the likes of Brad Haddin as a potential future international gloveman.

"He's got all the traits of a very good keeper," Haddin told cricket.com.au at the time. "His work ethic and professionalism is outstanding.

"I'm really looking forward to watching him develop in the next couple of years and putting some pressure on the incumbent for the Australian spot."

Justin Langer revealed earlier this year that Whiteman had sought out the counsel of Tim Paine, who had his career derailed by a succession of finger injuries and could act as a perfect role model for Whiteman in his return.

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Paine's injury problems left him on the brink of retiring and taking a job in Melbourne, before he opted to stay with the Tigers when he was awarded a new contract. Less than a year later, a shock recall for this summer's Magellan Ashes materialised.

"He could be having extended period out," Langer said of Whiteman in August. "I know he's spent some time talking to Tim Paine who had a similar injury.

"And that's so frustrating for him ... he's having some complications with his finger, so he needs to get that right."

Scorchers skipper Adam Voges also returns for the clash with the Hurricanes after serving a one-game suspension for a slow over-rate and will take the captaincy reins back from his deputy Ashton Turner.

Test batsman Shaun Marsh remains sidelined with a quad strain.

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The Hurricanes have named an unchanged squad for the match, with Simon Milenko in line to return after he was an eleventh-hour scratching on Wednesday against Adelaide Strikers with a dislocated finger.

Perth Scorchers squad: Adam Voges (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Will Bosisto, Tim Bresnan, Hilton Cartwright, Tim David, Mitchell Johnson, Matthew Kelly, Michael Klinger, Joel Paris, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman.

Hobart Hurricanes squad: George Bailey (c), Jofra Archer, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Alex Doolan, Ben McDermott, Simon Milenko, Tymal Mills, Nathan Reardon, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D’Arcy Short, Matthew Wade.

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Hobart Hurricanes Men

Perth Scorchers

Sam Whiteman