Australia expand squad amid withdrawal reports


MELBOURNE: Australia added six players to their white-ball squads on Tuesday amid reports that several big names might skip the tours of West Indies and Bangladesh because of bubble fatigue.

Media reports have said pace spearhead Pat Cummins, opener David Warner and several others might miss the tours after returning home following the abrupt suspension of the Indian Premier League last month.

Cricket Australia (CA) fuelled that speculation by adding Dan Christian, Ben McDermott, Cameron Green, Ashton Turner, Wes Agar and Nathan Ellis to the mix and saying the final squad would be selected in coming weeks.

”…recent experiences abroad, including but not limited to extended periods in bio-secure hubs and hard quarantine, have had an impact on the health and wellbeing of some players and their families,” national selector Trevor Hohns said.

“CA has maintained that the wellbeing of players, staff and officials is a top priority, and never more so than during the Covid-19 pandemic given the extraordinary challenges it has placed upon international athletes and sporting teams.”

Wicket-keeper/batsman McDermott and all-rounder Christian will cut short their county stints in England and return home this week to complete mandatory two-week quarantine.

Australia are scheduled to play five Twenty20 Internationals and three One-day Internationals in West Indies next month and five more Twenty20s in Bangladesh in August.

Both tours are subject to agreement on bio-security arran­gements and government approvals, the CA added.