In a significant growth, Cricket Australia (CA) has named a full-strength squad for their first tour to Pakistan in 24 years, with Ashton Agar the one addition from the prolonged group of gamers that received the Ashes.
The CA introduced the workforce after its Govt Board’s endorsement for the tour following a schedule change agreed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on account of logistical challenges.
Mitch Marsh, Josh Inglis, and Mitchell Swepson have all been named in an 18-man squad for the historic three-Check tour of Pakistan.
Based on Australian web site Cricket.com.au, whereas squads for the limited-overs matches that may observe the Checks are but to be named, the truth that no Check gamers have pulled out is a vote of confidence for the tour.
Thorough safety assessments had been performed by the safety consultants employed by the Australian board earlier than the tour was given the go-ahead.
“Clearly there is some anxiety about the tour, which I think is perfectly natural given an Australian team hasn’t toured Pakistan for almost 25 years, “Australian Cricketers’ Affiliation chief Todd Greenberg advised SEN on Monday.
“We may have one or two players who won’t be comfortable despite all of the advice and guidance that we provide. Along with Cricket Australia, we’ll need to respect those players and give them our full support if they decide not to make this tour.
“It is an important tour. The gamers utterly perceive our contribution to the worldwide recreation and we do not have an expectation that we are able to sit right here and count on groups to tour our nation and never contribute ourselves.”
The report stated that Jhye Richardson is the only player of note to miss the trip as Australia manages the body of the 25-year-old fast bowler, who has struggled with injuries over his career.
It added that there were no surprises among the other bowlers picked, with Ashes hero Scott Boland named alongside the big three quicks in Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who returns from injury, while Michael Neser is also in.
Agar is one of three spin options along with Nathan Lyon and Swepson, with the trio earmarked for major roles over the next 18 months, with tours of Sri Lanka and India (and potentially Bangladesh, given a tour there was ‘postponed’ in 2020 and is still to be rescheduled) on the horizon.
According to the website, the extended size of the squad reflects the difficulty of calling players up at short notice for an overseas tour should there be a last-minute injury, with Australia expected to be in some form of bio-secure bubble for the tour.
“This squad covers all situations, together with the circumstances provided that it has been such a very long time since Australia was final in Pakistan,” selection chief George Bailey said.
“With a number of subcontinent excursions and a one-day World Cup in India on the close to horizon, it is a nice first check problem for the group after the profitable dwelling Ashes collection.
“It’s also a very historic tour given the length of time since an Australian side last toured Pakistan.”
Australia Check squad:
Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Inexperienced, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner