Jackson Bird's move to NSW after 'unacceptable' Sheffield Shield flop

The fan-favourite will return to New South Wales in a huge signing.

Jackson Bird (pictured) has signed for New South Wales on a two-year deal in the Sheffield Shield. (Getty Images)
Jackson Bird (pictured) has signed for New South Wales on a two-year deal in the Sheffield Shield. (Getty Images)

Former Australian Test bowler Jackson Bird has made the decision to return home to New South Wales cricket in a huge signing for the state on a two-year deal. Bird is Tasmania's all-time leading wicket-taker and is 10th on the overall Sheffield Shield list with 350 wickets at an average of 21.99.

Winless in the Sheffield Shield last year and off the back of the worst season in the state's history, NSW are desperate to turn things around this summer. Cricket NSW are well aware they have produced more than one-third of male players with domestic or national contracts in Australian cricket.

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And the fall from the top has been brutal, as senior NSW officials have labelled their results as 'unacceptable'. The Blues did not win a game in the Sheffield Shield last summer and tasted victory in only two of their seven 50-over matches.

In a bid to turn around the shocking results, coach Phil Jaques was axed last November. However, Cricket NSW is yet to appoint a full-time replacement.

Bird moved to Hobart in an attempt to play state-level cricket. And it worked out brilliantly with the modest bowler becoming the state's highest wicket-taker.

He even topped the bowling chart for his team last year at the age of 36-year-old with the quick showing no signs of slowing down.

Jackson Bird, pictured here alongside players from NSW in the Sheffield Shield.
Jackson Bird is heading back to NSW to play Sheffield Shield. Image: Getty

"I played all my junior cricket in NSW and like any other aspiring professional in the state I wanted to pull on a Baggy Blue," Bird said. "My career took a different path and I am very grateful to Cricket Tasmania and everyone that I have played with and worked with down there.

"Now it's a fresh start in a place I am familiar with, and I am looking forward to being able to contribute on the field and also around the playing group. The Blues have some very talented young bowlers and I hope I can offer them some guidance if they need it."

Sarah Coyte joins the Breakers in huge signing

Bird's signing comes after NSW announced earlier this week former women's international Sarah Coyte would return home to the Breakers from Tasmania.

For so long the pinnacle of the women's game with 24 straight appearances in the final, NSW finished sixth last season and have not made the final since 2019-20.

Coyte was the leading wicket-taker in the Women's National Cricket League last year and claimed 3-2 in the last over of the final to lead Tasmania to a one-run win over South Australia.

Elsewhere, Ben McDermott will also leave Tasmania to return home to Queensland, while the Tigers have signed opening batter Jake Weatherald from South Australia.

with AAP

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