Photo Credit: Cricket Australia
The National Selection Panel (NSP) has chosen the following 23-player preliminary list for the Qantas Australian men’s tour of the West Indies:
Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
Ashton Agar (Western Australia)
Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia)
Alex Carey (South Australia)
Pat Cummins (New South Wales)
Josh Hazlewood (New South Wales)
Moises Henriques (New South Wales)
Mitchell Marsh (Western Australia)
Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
Riley Meredith (Tasmania)
Josh Philippe (Western Australia)
Jhye Richardson (Western Australia)
Kane Richardson (South Australia)
Tanveer Sangha (New South Wales)
D’Arcy Short (Western Australia)
Steven Smith (New South Wales)
Mitchell Starc (New South Wales)
Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia)
Mitchell Swepson (Queensland)
Andrew Tye (Western Australia)
Matthew Wade (Tasmania)
David Warner (New South Wales)
Adam Zampa (New South Wales)
National selector Trevor Hohns said: “This preliminary list gives selectors a solid base from which to choose a final touring party in the coming weeks while allowing players to prepare.
“The Australian men’s T20 squad has the ability to match it with any team in the world and the competition for places will be fierce, which is exactly what we are looking for.
“The West Indies men’s team has won two of the six ICC T20 World Cups played, including the most recent tournament in India and 2016, and this series will provide us with excellent preparation ahead of the 2021 edition in October and November.”
Leg spinners Mitchell Swepson, Tanveer Sanga and Adam Zampa are included in the preliminary squad with a view to the T20 World Cup. Zampa (No. 7) and spin partner Ashton Agar (No. 3) are ranked amongst the top ten T20 bowlers in the world by the ICC.
“Mitch Swepson has been in exceptional form across all three forms of the game. His Big Bash performances with the Heat have been superb, as was his bowling for Queensland,” Hohns said.
“Tanveer Sanga was extremely impressive for the Thunder and we regard him very highly. While he didn’t play in New Zealand it was a great opportunity for a young bowler to be around the group.
“Along with the class of Adam and Ashton we are very fortunate to have four highly capable spinners on this list.”
Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, David Warner, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey and Pat Cummins return to the squad after missing the recent white ball tour of New Zealand.
“Having players of that calibre back in the squad is critical to the build-up to the T20 World Cup and refining the balance of the team over the coming months,” Hohns said.
Hard-hitting batsman Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh join D’Arcy Short in the mix for the final batting places. They all add the flexibility of being able to play in the top or middle order.
Highly rated bat Josh Phillipe adds another top order option with captain Aaron Finch and David Warner and as an additional backup wicketkeeper/batsman to Alex Carey and Matthew Wade.
“We are very fortunate to have some incredibly dynamic batsmen through the entire order who can be match-winners on any given day,” Hohns said. “Like all of our players we hope they will perform consistently, particularly as we approach the World Cup.”
Experienced all-rounders Stoinis, Moises Henriques and Marsh are joined by the in-form Maxwell in the preliminary squad. Daniel Sams advised the NSP he was unavailable for selection for the tour of the West Indies on health and wellbeing grounds. CA supports Sams’ decision.
“All-rounders are such a critical part of the T20 game, along with our spinners. As we have seen evolve over time, having players able to give the captain more options make the team far more adaptable to all situations. We feel we have that luxury in this group.”
Pacemen Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye join Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc as the primary pace strike weapons. They are joined by gun speedster Riley Meredith and form left-armer Jason Behrendorff.
“Kane has for a long time done such a great job complimenting Pat and Mitch in the T20 side. Having the likes of Jhye, Riley, AJ and Josh Hazlewood only adds to the overall depth.”
The logistical complexities of joining the squad from the UK and associated quarantines means Marnus Labuschagne will remain with Glamorgan in England.
“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.”
Ben Oliver, CA’s EGM of National Teams, said CA was in discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board regarding a possible white ball tour at the conclusion of the Australian men’s tour of the Caribbean.
“The Australian men’s team has completed successful tours of England and New Zealand during the pandemic, including the accompanying quarantine periods, and we are hopeful of being able to travel to Bangladesh at the completion of the West Indies tour,” Oliver said.
“Those discussions are progressing well and updates will be provided in due course.”
Oliver welcomed the recent announcement by the Australian Government that Australians approved for international travel would be vaccinated prior to their 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.
“We will comply with all government directives in relation to vaccinations and international travel.”
The squad is due to depart for the West Indies in late June.
Qantas Australian Tour of the West Indies:
July 10 9.30am AEST: First T20I, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
July 11 9.30am AEST: Second T20I, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
July 13 9.30am AEST: Third T20I, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
July 15 9.30am AEST: Fourth T20I, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
July 17 9.30am AEST: Fifth T20I, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia
July 21 4.30am AEST: First 1st CG Insurance ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
July 23 4.30am AEST: Second 1st CG Insurance ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
July 25 4.30am AEST: Third 1st CG Insurance ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados