Australia has named a new look 18-member squad for their upcoming men’s white-ball tour of the West Indies and Bangladesh.
With Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner and Pat Cummins all requesting not to be considered for the tour for various reasons and Steve Smith (elbow) injured, Australia will get the chance to test their depth ahead of this year’s ICC T20 World Cup in October.
In their absence, Wes Agar will be hoping to make his international debut alongside brother Ashton Agar, while Dan Christian and Jason Behrendorff will be out to play their first matches for Australia since 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Fast bowler Nathan Ellis and leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha will join the tour as travelling reserves and gain further international experience with the Australian squad.
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Riley Meredith, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
“We are naturally disappointed not to have all players available for the Australian team at this time however the NSP (National Selection Panel) respects the decisions of those who have opted out of this tour,” Australia selector Trevor Hohns said.
“Steve Smith was unavailable for selection due to an elbow injury and will now be able to use this time to fully recover ahead of the World Cup and home Ashes Series. Steve was disappointed to miss the tour with the decision made on medical grounds.
“International tours in the time of Covid-19 undoubtedly present many additional challenges for athletes. They also present opportunities for others and, in this case, the chance to push for selection in the Australian men’s T20 World Cup squad later this year and beyond.
“This is a great chance for these players to make a case for the World Cup and all are considered very real prospects of making that tournament by performing well across these tours.”
While the squad is missing a host of stars, it also sees the returns of Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Swepson, who all missed the white ball tour of New Zealand.
Hohns spoke effusively of the depth of Australia’s white ball stocks.
“We are fortunate to have excellent depth in Australian cricket and we’re extremely excited by the inclusions of Wes Agar, Ben McDermott, Dan Christian and Ashton Turner to the squad.
“We are equally pleased to have Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Swepson back in the white ball squad having missed the recent tour of New Zealand through their selection in the Test squad for South Africa.
“Wes has been dominant in the Big Bash and we really like what he brings to the table on his debut Australian tour while Ben McDermott is a proven performer in white ball cricket as an explosive middle order batsman.
“Ashton has been on the international stage before with his ability to set up a game from the middle order. He also brings a lot of experience along with his deep knowledge of the game and leadership attributes as Scorchers captain.
“We are equally excited to welcome Dan Christian back into Australian colours with his wealth of global T20 experience, leadership and insight into the game. His ability as a strike weapon and batting closer is renowned around the world.
“To have the calibre and experience of those players returning along with those we are welcoming is a very good sign for the depth of Australian cricket.
“We are very much looking forward to competitive series against the West Indies, the defending T20 World Cup champions, and the ensuing tour of Bangladesh.”
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