Since the retirement of Xavier Doherty, Tasmania have been on the search for their next star spinner.
Come Saturday, they may have found two candidates, with Jarrod Freeman and Mac Wright named in Tasmania’s 13-player squad to play New South Wales in their JLT Sheffield Shield clash at the SCG.
Freeman, at just 17 years of age, would remarkably be the first male player born in the 2000s to make an Australian domestic debut.
The tale of the two spinners are not hugely dissimilar, with both coming through the CA Pathway system.
Wright, originally from regional New South Wales, has played for the Australian Capital Territory in the Toyota Futures League, and currently sits seventh on the wicket-taker’s list with 14 scalps at an average of 29.07 for Tasmania this summer.
A rookie with the Sydney Thunder in BBL|05, the leg-spinning all-rounder went on to sign a contract with Tasmania for the 2016-17 season
The deal was signed in 2016, when he was still in Year 12, and Wright soon moved down to Tasmania and has since been involved in the National Performance Squad and the CA XI which played in this summer’s JLT Cup.
Wright would follow in the footsteps of fellow NPS members Brendan Doggett and Daniel Fallins, who have also made Sheffield Shield debuts following the pre-season program in Brisbane.
For local product Freeman, the rise to a potential debut has come slightly quicker after dominant performances at under-17 and under-19 level.
In his maiden Toyota Futures League appearance in October, he claimed eight wickets overall, including figures of 5-99 and 3-34.
Freeman had a brilliant Under 19 National Championship last year, earning a berth in the Australian Under 19 World Cup squad where he debuted at Under 19 international level.
Hailing from George Town – also the home of Doherty - Freeman would become the first member of the Australian Under 19s World Cup squad to debut at Sheffield Shield level.
Tasmania play against New South Wales on Saturday, starting at 10am (AEST).
by Dylan Carmody