Khawaja, Maxwell in Australia's 26-member squad for planned tour of England

Australia's Glen Maxwell. Photo: PTI

Australia on Thursday announced a 26-strong preliminary squad for a yet-to-be-confirmed limited-overs tour of England, naming the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Usman Khawaja along with some uncapped players with an eye on the currently-uncertain T20 World Cup.

In a statement, CA said announcing the squad is "a positive step, albeit not a definitive one" as it works for a return to international cricket amid the COVID-19 pandemic. England have already hit the restart button with an ongoing Test series against the West Indies.

"A final decision on the tour has not been made and constructive discussions between Cricket Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board and all relevant government agencies remain ongoing," the CA statement read.

A final squad will be announced if the tour is confirmed.

The preliminary list features the regulars along with the likes of Maxwell, who hasn't played for the country since October last year after taking a break to deal with some mental health issues.

Khawaja too has not been a partcular favourite in white-ball cricket for a while now. He missed out on a CA contract for the first time in five years earlier in April.

National Selector Trevor Hohns said the squad is not just for the England tour but has also been picked with an eye on the T20 World Cup, which is looks set to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This preliminary list covers the contingencies of playing One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals in bio-secure hubs with the likely prospect of not being able to bring in replacements should the tour proceed," he said.

"The preliminary list also has a view towards the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and in the longer term the 2023 ICC World Cup," he added.

The uncapped trio of Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe, all of whom have done well in the Big Bash League, were also named in the squad.

"The preliminary list includes several exciting young players who have recently excelled at state level and in the BBL. These emerging players are those we would like to develop further as we believe they have a bright future in Australian cricket," Hohns said.

Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager of National Teams Ben Oliver said CA is hopeful of the tour going ahead.

"The ECB are a long-standing and valued international cricket partner and we are doing all we can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place," he stated.

"In the meantime, the identification of a preliminary list will enable us to work with players and states more directly on the preparation for the tour in the hope it can proceed," he added.

The Squad:

Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch,

Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Michael Neser, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, D'Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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