George Bailey and Andrew McDonald in bizarre on-field scenes during T20 World Cup warm-up

The recently concluded IPL competition prompted drastic measures for the Aussies.

Australia's preparations for the upcoming T20 Cricket World Cup have taken a bizarre turn in Trinidad after four team staff members were forced to play in a warm-up match against Namibia. Coach Andrew McDonald, chief selector George Bailey, batting coach and former Test gun Brad Hodge and fielding coach and former first-grade wicketkeeper Andre Borovec were all called into action for the under-manned Aussies.

McDonald named a 15-man Australia squad for the T20 showpiece, which gets underway next month, but was left with just nine players available for the unofficial hit-out against World No.14 Namibia. Six members of the Aussie cricket squad were granted time off following their campaigns in the Indian Premier League, which only just concluded a couple of days ago.

Pictured on the left is Australia cricket coach Andrew McDonald and chief selector George Bailey on right.
Australia cricket coach Andrew McDonald and chief selector George Bailey were called into action to play against Namibia in a T20 World Cup warm-up match. Pics: X

Mitchell Starc starred on Monday morning (AEST) as his Kolkata Knight Riders won their third IPL title against a Sunrisers Hyderabad side that included Aussie teammates Pat Cummins and Travis Head. Starc registered figures of 2-14 to live up to his top billing after getting $4.43 million to play in the tournament. That came after Starc took an eight-year hiatus from the IPL to be able to spend more time with wife Alyssa Healy and his family - a move that cost him an estimated $10 million.

But with the IPL campaign having only just finished, Starc and the others were given a few extra days off and did not feature in the practice match against Namibia. It led to the bizarre sight of Australia fielding four members of their coaching staff, all aged over 40, in the unofficial fixture. Not that it had much of an impact on the result as the Aussies rolled the African side for 119 runs, before chasing down the total inside 10 overs.

The quartet of super-subs were fully involved but didn’t have a great deal to do as the Namibian batters struggled against the world class Aussie bowling attack led by Josh Hazlewood. The quick took 2-5 from four overs and spin star Adam Zampa bagged 3-25 to leave the batters with a straightforward chase.

Seen here, Josh Hazlewood bowling for Australia in a T20 match.
Josh Hazlewood is seen here bowling for Australia in a T20 match. Pic: Getty

Borovec and Hodge, who turns 50 in December, hung on to catches and McDonald earned applause for a diving stop in the outfield at at Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad. Hazlewood set the tone in his first match for nearly three months, with the quick boasting figures of 2-0 from his first three overs to leave Namibia reeling at 6-50 at one stage.

Having battled a hand issue throughout an underwhelming IPL campaign, veteran Australian opener David Warner then made an unbeaten half century to guide the Aussies to an easy win. Warner rounded off the seven-wicket victory by smashing a four to help the Aussies chase down Namibia's total inside 10 overs with a 21-ball 54.


Tim David (23 off 16) also played a solid support role with the bat after pummelling three fours and a six in his innings. The Aussies will again be short-handed for their second and final warm-up fixture, against T20 World Cup hosts the West Indies on Thursday. Cummins, Head, Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green will all join the squad ahead of their tournament opener next Thursday against Oman in Barbados, having all featured in the latter stages of the IPL.

with agencies