Aussie cricket fans stunned by Steve Smith and David Warner move

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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David Warner and Steve Smith will skip tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh prior to the T20 World Cup later this year.
David Warner and Steve Smith have pulled out of white ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh after a gruelling travel and quarantine schedule earlier this year. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

Steve Smith and David Warner headline a long list of Australian cricketers set to miss two key international tours ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year.

Former captain Smith has been ruled out of upcoming white ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh due to an elbow injury, while a significant number of Aussie teammates are opting to remain home for the time being after a gruelling travel and quarantine schedule through 2020 and 2021.

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David Warner, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell add to the absent starpower in the Australian side in the lead-up to October's World Cup after their withdrawals.

Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson and Daniel Sams were also missing when Cricket Australia named an 18-man squad on Wednesday.

All eight players are likely to still earn selection despite missing the warm-up tour, with chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns saying he was slightly disappointed not to have the full squad available.

But players only recently emerging from quarantine after the disastrous postponement of the Indian Premier League due to the coronavirus crisis in the country leave themselves at risk of being usurped by those available to play, Hohns said.

Hohns added that he understood any frustration from fans over the absence of some of Australia's top players thanks to a domestic tournament.

"I certainly can understand that," Hohns said.

"However that is out of our control. And if a player wishes to make themselves unavailable that is his prerogative to do so.

"We can't force them to go on a tour but what we can say to them is they are giving someone else an opportunity.

"It's a little bit frustrating (for them not to tour before the World Cup) but we have to respect and understand the reasons for not making themselves available at this time."

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Quarantine fatigue leads to raft of Cricket Australia withdrawals

Australia don't have another tour before the World Cup, but several warm-up games are expected in either India or whichever country hosts the tournament.

Smith is believed to have wanted to tour, but medicos ruled him out with fears the tennis elbow in his left arm would continue into the Ashes summer if he didn't rest.

While Warner and Cummins are certainties to be selected, the withdrawals of Maxwell and Stoinis opens the door for Dan Christian and Moises Henriques to make their case.

Aaron Finch will captain the squad during the tours, while Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Alex Carey and Matt Wade will all figure.

Australia will carry a slightly weaker side into tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh in the lead up to the T20 World Cup. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Australia will carry a slightly weaker side into tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh in the lead up to the T20 World Cup. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Pace bowler Wes Agar is aiming for an international debut while touring with brother Ashton and Ben McDermott is also included.

The squad is due to depart on June 28 for five T20s and three ODIs in the West Indies, while five T20s in Bangladesh are due to follow dependent on COVID-19 conditions.

"CA has maintained from the start of the pandemic that we would support players or staff members through the additional demands placed upon them by hubs and quarantine," chief medico Alex Kountouris said.

"We look forward to a time when hubs and quarantines are things of the past, but for now we will continue to manage the situation as best we can with the wellbeing of our people at the forefront of our decision-making."

AUSTRALIA'S 18-MAN WHITE-BALL SQUAD

Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitch Marsh, Riley Meredith, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa. Reserves: Tanveer Sangha, Nathan Ellis.

With AAP

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