Australia name ‘big guns’ for Caribbean tour in July
Australia have welcomed back their big names for the eight-match limited-overs tour of the Caribbean, naming a strong extended 23-man squad for the July tour.
Eight players that were missing from the T20 tour of New Zealand in March have all been included for the tour that will see Australia play five T20s in St Lucia before three ODIs in Barbados.
Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, wicketkeeper Alex Carey and leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson were all named in Australia’s Test squad for the now-cancelled tour of South Africa, missing the series against New Zealand.
Australia squad for Qantas Tour of the West Indies: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Swepson is one of three leg-spinners in the squad expected to be trimmed, likely to 18 players, along with Adam Zampa and the uncapped Tanveer Sangha, who travelled to New Zealand in March but did not play.
One-day incumbents Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green have both been left out. Labuschagne is currently in England playing county cricket with Glamorgan, while Green has expressed a desire to have a strong pre-season with WA and continue working on his bowling.
Labuschagne had cemented himself as a star in Australia’s one-day side and was said to be “deeply upset” at having to miss the tour due to “logistical complexities”.
He is yet to play T20 cricket for Australia but showed his potential in the shortest format with a key role for the Brisbane Heat on their run deep into the KFC BBL finals last summer, having returned to the side following the Test series against India.
“Anyone who knows Marnus understands he would give absolutely anything to play for Australia and he is deeply upset to miss out due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control,” Hohns said.
“We worked through numerous options in conversations with Marnus to find a workable solution but ultimately came to the conclusion it was more practical for him to remain in the UK.
“Had we not been in the middle of a global pandemic Marnus would be on this tour as a well-established member and important part of the one-day side. It’s an unfortunate circumstance of the many challenges the world is facing right now.
“As it stands, Marnus has the opportunity to continue in County Cricket and T20 games with Glamorgan as we head into the World Cup and home summer.”
National Selector Trevor Hohns said the focus was on the upcoming T20 World Cup in picking three leg-spinners in the squad, with finger-spinner Ashton Agar also included.
Australia could yet travel directly to Bangladesh after the Caribbean tour, with discussions with that country’s cricket board ongoing, while CA’s executive general manager of national teams, Ben Oliver, has welcomed news Australians approved for international travel would be vaccinated prior to departure.
“It was great to see our Olympians receiving their vaccination shots ahead of the Tokyo Games and we are working through logistics for the Australian men’s team with the relevant agencies,” Oliver said in a statement.
“We will comply with all government directives in relation to vaccinations and international travel.” (cricket.com.au)
Qantas Tour of the West Indies 2021
First T20: July 9, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm
Second T20: July 10, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm
Third T20: July 12, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm
Fourth T20: July 14, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm
Fifth T20: July 16, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 7.30pm
First ODI: July 20, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 2.30pm D/N
Second ODI: July 22, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 2.30pm
Third ODI: July 24, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 2.30pm D/N