Cricket Australia on Thursday named a 26-member preliminary squad for a potential limited-overs tour of England in September. If happens, the tour will see the Australian team playing three One Day Internationals (ODI) and as many Twenty-20 Internationals (T20I).
Three uncapped players, Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe, have been included in the squad, with Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell, who had taken a sabbatical in October last year on mental health grounds, being recalled.
But selectors have decided to name a preliminary group to give them adequate time to prepare, with a final squad to be announced if the tour goes ahead.
“The England Cricket Board are a long-standing and valued international cricket partner and we are doing all we can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place,” said CA’s head of national teams Ben Oliver
“In the meantime, the identification of a preliminary list will enable us to work with players and states more directly on the preparation for the tour in the hope it can proceed.”
However, veterans like Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who had featured in Australia’s World Cup squad last year, have been left out from the 26-man preliminary squad.
Middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb has also been overlooked, while speedster Jhye Richardson is still recovering from a shoulder injury.
Uncapped limited-overs specialists Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe were included, but there was no room for veterans Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who both featured in last year’s World Cup.
“This preliminary list covers the contingencies of playing one-day internationals and T20 international in bio-secure hubs with the likely prospect of not being able to bring in replacements should the tour proceed,” said selector Trevor Hohns.
“The preliminary list includes several exciting young players who have recently excelled at state level and in the Big Bash League.
“These emerging players are among those we would like to develop further as we believe they have a bright future in Australian cricket.”
Australia preliminary squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Michael Neser, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, D’Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
With PTI inputs