Lehmann the lure for Hauritz
WHEN actor Cuba Gooding Jr played an ageing NFL star in the movie Jerry Maguire, he asked his player agent (Tom Cruise) to famously "Show me the money" in the form of a new contract.
Nathan Hauritz didn't need a lucrative contract when he agreed to re-join the Queensland Bulls yesterday - saying he could have earned more had he stayed with New South Wales.
The chance to play under coach Darren Lehmann was worth its weight in gold, hopefully helping the off-spinner get to wear his prized baggy green cap again.
Hervey Bay-born Hauritz and his NSW teammate, batsman Usman Khawaja, both signed two-year deals with the Sheffield Shield champions.
The defection of the two Australian representatives came a day after another NSW Australian outcast, opener Phil Hughes, announced he'd signed for South Australia.
Khawaja and Hauritz both held Cricket Australia contracts last year, but were cut last week after the list of national contracts was slashed from 25 to 17.
Hauritz, who has taken 63 wickets in 17 Tests and the same number is his 58 ODIs for Australia, said money had nothing to do with his move home.
"It was definitely not monetary I can tell you," Hauritz, who played 28 first-class matches for Queensland before moving to NSW in 2006-07, said.
"The chance to work with Boof (Lehmann) and get back to playing with the guys I grew up playing alongside (he's close friends will James Hopes and Chris Hartley) was the key.
"The fact I enjoyed my time with the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League last season reinforced that it was the right way to go.
"I still believe I can play for Australia and I'm confident the way the Bulls play and the group they have will help me with that goal."
Hauritz, who said he was almost back to full fitness following shoulder surgery last year, said he was also looking forward to continue playing alongside Khawaja.
"Not only did we play for NSW, we also played club cricket together for Randwick-Petersham," he said.
"They (Randwick) will be feeling decimated now because not only have they lost myself and Usman, Kat (Simon Katich) has now retired and the Coyte brothers have also left the club."
While Hauritz is looking forward to starting pre-season next week, Lehmann said Queensland was happy to welcome him home.
"Horry's a world-class off-spinner, which fits in with how we are structuring our squad," Lehmann said.
"I am sure he is ready to demonstrate those skills for us and again reach the heights he has previously achieved."