Australia’s proposed September white-ball tour of England is a step closer with the Aussies naming a 26-member preliminary squad on Thursday.
All matches are taking place behind closed doors, within bio-secure environments, with travelling teams needing to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the United Kingdom.
It’s perceived that the series will provide the blueprint for international cricket’s return, with Australia’s tour of England still not confirmed, with Cricket Australia (CA) eager to point out that there’s still hurdles to overcome.
Discussions remain ongoing with both national bodies and government agencies about the series, but CA felt it was important to name a squad now in order to meet timeframes moving forward.
Among that 26-member squad was uncapped trio Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe who all impressed during last season’s Big Bash League as well as most of the usual suspects.
Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, James Pattinson, Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile were significant names not in the side while quicks Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff were both not considered due to injury.
National Selector Trevor Hohns said: “This preliminary list covers the contingencies of playing One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals in bio-secure hubs with the likely prospect of not being able to bring in replacements should the tour proceed.
“The preliminary list includes several exciting young players who have recently excelled at state level and in the BBL. These emerging players are among those we would like to develop further as we believe they have a bright future in Australian cricket.
“The preliminary list also has a view towards the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and in the longer term the 2023 ICC World Cup.”
CA’s Executive General Manager of National Teams Ben Oliver said they were eager for the series to go ahead, to support their relationship with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) but needed to tick all boxes.
“We are doing all we can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place,” Oliver said.
“We continue to work with the ECB and government agencies and a decision on the tour will be made in due course.”
The preliminary 26-player Australian list for a proposed Qantas Tour of England in September is:
Sean Abbott (New South Wales) Ashton Agar (Western Australia) Alex Carey (South Australia) Pat Cummins (New South Wales) Aaron Finch (Victoria) Josh Hazlewood (New South Wales) Travis Head (South Australia) Usman Khawaja (Queensland) Marnus Labuschagne (Queensland) Nathan Lyon (New South Wales) Mitchell Marsh (Western Australia) Glenn Maxwell (Victoria) Ben McDermott (Tasmania) Riley Meredith (Tasmania) Michael Neser (Queensland) Josh Philippe (Western Australia) Daniel Sams (New South Wales) DArcy Short (Western Australia) Kane Richardson (South Australia) Steven Smith (New South Wales) Mitchell Starc (New South Wales) Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia) Andrew Tye (Western Australia) Matthew Wade (Tasmania) David Warner (New South Wales) Adam Zampa (New South Wales)