There is some tension over the availability of Australian players for this tournament
Lance Morris was released from Australia’s Test squad to play in the PBL following the first Test against Pakistan in Perth, with the squad reduced to 13 for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
There was excitement surrounding Morris making his Test debut in Perth, but with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood returning in top form from the ODI World Cup, and Scott Boland being reserved, Morris will be sent back to the BBL. Perth Scorchers take on Hobart Hurricanes at Optus Stadium on December 20.
Boland is not available for Melbourne Stars as he is on hold as first bowling reserve for the second Test.
„Lance has been cleared for the Melbourne match, but as he is committed to our plans for the summer, he will be available for Test cricket, should the opportunity arise,” national selector George Bailey said.
There has been some behind-the-scenes tussle between Cricket Australia and PBL clubs over the availability of Australian players. The Brisbane Heat were so frustrated by losing four players to the Prime Minister’s XI for the first two matches of the season that Michael Nacer was released from the PM’s XI to play in the Heat’s PBL opener against the Stars.
Melbourne Renegades coach David Seger expressed surprise at Boland’s dismissal in the Stars’ BBL opener.
Cameron Green does not have a BBL contract and will be the 12th man in the squad, while current all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will retain his place in the opening Test against Pakistan, where he was named man of the match.
Meanwhile, Victoria has named three Test players — Marcus Harris, Peter Handscomb and Will Bukowski — for the second Test in the two-day tour against Pakistan at the Junction Oval in Melbourne. The Victoria XI will consist of players without BBL contracts, including those three.
Australian squad for the Melbourne Test David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnes Lapuzagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Cameron Green, Scott Boland
Alex Malcolm is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo
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