It was a battle between cricket and football this year for Will Sutherland, but it seems study is a greater priority than either.
Despite starring with 4-11 in a win against New South Wales last Sunday, the batting all-rounder has been left out of Victoria’s 14-man squad for the JLT one-day cup finals as he enters the home straight of his schooling, with the Scotch College Year 12 student’s VCE exams just around the corner.
Sutherland, who had been shaping as a likely first-round pick in this year’s AFL draft had he chosen to pursue a career in football, turns 18 later this month, with the son of Cricket chief James Sutherland hopeful of qualifying for a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne.
Not that Victoria don’t have quality players to fill the void. Internationals Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch return to the Bushrangers squad after featuring in ‘s tour of India, while Cameron White keeps his spot as he works his way back from an injury that kept him out towards the end of the preliminary stage.
Sam Harper and Blake Thomson join Sutherland in making way for the returning international trio.
Victoria face South in Thursday’s elimination final, with the winners to take on Western in Saturday’s decider. Both games are in Hobart.
Bushrangers coach Andrew McDonald was hopeful the returning stars could catapult his team to the final. “To welcome back guys of such high calibre as Finch, Maxwell and Christian at this stage of the tournament is a big win for us, and they’ll certainly add some depth to both our batting and bowling line-up,” McDonald said.
“The squad has been brilliant so far this tournament to get us to this point, and now hopefully with the return of our n representatives we can go a step further and qualify for the final.”