SYDNEY, May 17 (Reuters) – Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins were brought back into Australia’s 23-man extended squad for the limited overs tour of West Indies on Monday but Marnus Labuschagne missed out because of travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Batsmen Smith and Warner and paceman Cummins were among seven players included in Monday’s squad who missed the tour of New Zealand in March having already been selected for the later aborted test tour of South Africa.
The world class trio were on a charter flight from Maldives which landed in Sydney on Monday, completing the delayed journey home from the suspended Indian Premier League for 40 Australian players, support staff and media pundits.
Labuschagne, however, will remain in Wales with county side Glamorgan because of “the logistical complexities of joining the squad from the UK and associated quarantines”, Cricket Australia (CA) said in a news release.
“Anyone who knows Marnus understands he would give absolutely anything to play for Australia and he is deeply upset to miss out due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control,” chief selector Trevor Hohns said.
“We worked through numerous options in conversations with Marnus to find a workable solution but ultimately came to the conclusion it was more practical for him to remain in the UK.
“Had we not been in the middle of a global pandemic Marnus would be on this tour … “
All-rounder Daniel Sams, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month before taking up his place in the IPL, asked not to be considered for the West Indies tour “on health and wellbeing grounds”, CA said.
Australia will play three one-dayers in Barbados and five 20-over internationals in St Lucia as they continue their preparations for the World Twenty20 in India later this year.
CA said that they were still discussing the possibility of a limited overs tour of Bangladesh after the trip to West Indies.
“We are hopeful of being able to travel to Bangladesh at the completion of the West Indies tour,” said CA’s Ben Oliver. “Those discussions are progressing well and updates will be provided in due course.”
Oliver said all players would be vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of their departure for the Caribbean in late June.
Squad: Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangh, D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)
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