MELBOURNE, Australia – Batting star Marnus Labuschagne will miss Australia’s white-ball tour of West Indies in July due to “logistical complexities”, Cricket Australia said Monday.
The 26-year-old, who is currently playing for Glamorgan in the English County Championship, was left out of a 23-man squad and is expected to now continue his duties with the Welsh club.
Labuschagne made his name in Tests where he averages 60 from 18 matches but recently broke into the One-Day International side and averages nearly 40 from 13 games.
It was not immediately clear what the logistical challenges were but national selector Trevor Hohns said but for the current COVID-19 pandemic, the player would have definitely made the Caribbean trip.
“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.”
Former captain and leading batsman, Steve Smith, is one of eight players who missed the Twenty20 tour of New Zealand last March, who have been included for the five T20 Internationals and three ODIs from July 9-24.
He has been joined by David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey and Mitchell Swepson in the squad expected to be trimmed to 18.
The 27-year-old Swepson, who has played four T20Is, is one of three leg-spinners in the squad, with Adam Zampa and uncapped 19-year-old Tanveer Sangha also included.
Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar has also been named with Hohns noting the large spin complement was in preparation for the T20 World Cup later this year.
“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 pointed out.
“Tanveer Sangha was extremely impressive for the Sydney 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.””
All-rounder Daniel Sams, who made himself unavailable, along with batsmen Ben McDermott and Ashton Turner who were dropped, are the players missing from the side that toured New Zealand.
All-rounder Cameron Green has also opted to remain home and continue his pre-season work with Western Australia.
Australia take on West Indies in five T20Is at the Darren Sammy National Stadium in St Lucia from July 9-16 before travelling to Barbados for three ODIs at Kensington Oval from July 20-24.
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SQUAD – Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.