Australia’s quarantining Indian Premier League players will be made available for the white ball tour of the Caribbean, with nine of the stars named in a preliminary squad.
Just hours after Australia’s 38-strong contingent jumped off a flight and into hotels for the next fortnight, selectors revealed their plans for the path to the Twenty20 World Cup.
Included in the 23-man preliminary squad – which will be cut down before departure – are the likes of Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and David Warner, who all returned home Monday.
There had been fears of bubble fatigue in the international set up, but the effort to get players home as soon as possible has no doubt helped the situation.
The group will likely have around three weeks in their own beds before leaving for the West Indies, with their stint in quarantine set to finish at the end of the month.
Australia will take just the one group to the Caribbean, covering off on both the five-game T20 series in mid-July and three ODIs that follow.
“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,” selector Trevor Hohns said.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques and Alex Carey are also back, after missing the T20 tour of New Zealand due to the abandoned Test series in South Africa.
But Marnus Labuschagne will not join them. In a bitter blow to the 26-year-old’s faint World Cup hopes, he will remain in England with county club Glamorgan with Covid-19 presenting too much of a logistical hurdle.
Labuschagne is yet to debut for Australia in the format, but has made clear he had a desire to play in the T20 World Cup after an impressive Big Bash with Brisbane.
“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,” Hohns said.
“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.
“Marnus has the opportunity to continue in county cricket and T20 games with Glamorgan as we head into the World Cup and home summer.”
Australia’s preliminary squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.