Australia has named a squad of eighteen players representing them in tours in the West Indies, immediately followed by another in Bangladesh. However, this list has some notable absentees, most of whom have withdrawn for personal reasons.
David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, and Marcus Stoinis will not be part of the touring contingent, and it remains to be seen whether they will be selected for the T20 World Cup. Steven Smith will be out of action to give him time to recover from an elbow injury, while Daniel Sams is out of the running as he recovers from a bout of COVID; he contracted while playing in the IPL.
The Australian tour of West Indies 2021 will comprise five T20 matches and three ODIs. The team will then travel straight for a tour of Bangladesh slated to begin on August 2nd, 2021. These tours are prime opportunities for current players and recruits to audition for a T20 World Cup squad spot. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to begin in mid-October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Wes Agar is the only uncapped player making his debut in international cricket from the squad of eighteen. The 24-year-old pace bowler currently plays for Adelaide Strikers and has had a stint in the Australia Under-19 team.
Dan Christian and Ben Mc Dermott, who aborted their county deals after being named in the preliminary squad, were recalled for the tour. Christian, who the Royal Challengers Bangalore bought in February 2021, last played for Australia in 2017. Nathan Ellis, the Tasmanian fast bowler and leg spinner Tanveer Sangha, will also be included in the reserves.
Jason Behrendorff, Moises Henriques, Riley Meredith, Andrew Tye, and Adam Zampa, who play in the IPL, have availed themselves for West Indies and Bangladesh tours.
Mitchell Starc and Jon Hazlewood have made a comeback to the squad after being left out of the T20I team touring New Zealand. They were exempted from the squad because they had been enlisted for the Test series in South Africa, which was postponed.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the Australian players and team officials on international duty are undergoing various challenges. They have to endure lengthy stays in bio-secure bubbles and undergo a hard quarantine of two weeks, especially after international duty. The officials have, however, chosen to stay the course and continue prioritizing human safety and health. Australia’s international borders are also likely to continue being closed for the foreseeable future.
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