Khawaja, Head miss out as Australia confirm England tour
Australia's limited-overs tour of England will go ahead this month at bio-secure venues, officials said Friday, after its players were given government clearance to travel.
The confirmation ensures Australians will pad up for their first internationals in nearly six months, with Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon and Marcus Stoinis recalled to the squad, while Usman Khawaja and Travis Head missed out. Australia was originally scheduled to play three one-day and three Twenty20 matches against England in July, but the trip was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Detailed biosecurity plans have now been agreed to ensure it can go ahead, including government exemptions, which are required for Australians to leave the country. The team has also agreed to self-quarantine for 14 days on their return. They depart from Perth on August 23 en route to Derby ahead of four practice matches -- three T20s and a one-dayer -- before three T20s and three one-day internationals in Southampton and Old Trafford, which have hotels on site.
"We are very excited to be heading to England and to get back into the international fray," said Cricket Australia's interim chief Nick Hockley. "We congratulate the England Cricket Board on leading the resumption of the game in a way that places the health and safety of players and staff at its core."
His opposite number at the ECB Tom Harrison said Australia was owed "a significant debt of gratitude" for making sure the tour went ahead. "Their cooperation to ensure these matches are staged is crucial to cricket in this country," he added. "It will also provide much-needed financial aid at all levels of cricket in England and Wales as we work through the challenges in front of us."
Australia named a 21-man squad with Maxwell, Lyon and Stoinis among notable inclusions, along with three debutants -- Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams and Riley Meredith. But there was no room for Head, Khawaja, Michael Neser, Ben McDermott or D'Arcy Short, who were all named in a preliminary 26-man squad last month.
"I am delighted with how the players have returned to their states from the break back in March. The whole squad has come back fitter and stronger, which is great testament to each of them," said coach Justin Langer.
"We have a massive assignment ahead with World Cups, Test series against India and South Africa and the Ashes next year. We can't wait to get back into it again."
Australia's T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa