T20 WC: Marsh to lead Australia, no place for Smith

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 01, 2024 IST

Mitchell Marsh

Melbourne, May 1: Mitchell Marsh has been appointed captain of the Australian men’s T20 team and will lead the side at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, starting on June 1 in the West Indies and USA.

Marsh will be leading a strong 15-member squad, excluding batter Steve Smith, young gun Jake Fraser-McGurk, experienced seamer Jason Behrendorff and all-rounder Matt Short.

While Marsh has been performing the role of interim captain of Australia's T20I side for much of the last 12 months, the T20 World Cup will be his first major tournament as skipper.

"It’s been an immense privilege to play for my country and now an even greater honour to lead the squad to a World Cup. I am extremely grateful to have such a good group of people in our players and staff. We have had some strong success in recent times and I am hopeful that will continue in what looks like a wide-open tournament.

"We take a very experienced group to the West Indies, I very much look forward to the challenge and working alongside Andrew (McDonald), the coaches, players and staff," said Marsh.

The squad also features Ashton Agar and Cameron Green, both of whom have been absent from international T20 cricket for nearly 18 months.

Selection chair George Bailey believes Australia have a well-balanced squad and is confident of a strong showing in the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup.

"This is an experienced squad with extensive World Cup experience that offers a variety of structures and covers the scenarios the panel believes will factor in the West Indies with the unique nature of the venues and our opponents. It’s great to have Ashton Agar back into the squad following a spate of unfortunate and untimely injuries.

"We believe Ashton can play a critical role in this tournament along with Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Cam Green and Mitch Marsh in complementing our front-line attack options. The batting options available allow a tailored approach to each venue and opponent," said Bailey.

Smith has been a consistent presence for Australia's past five white-ball World Cup tilts, helping them win in 2015, 2023 (ODI), and 2021 (T20). It's the first time he will miss out on an Australian World Cup squad since 2014.

Bailey acknowledged some of the omissions from recent T20 sides and said, "Steve Smith, Matt Short, Jason Behrendorff, Aaron Hardie, Spencer Johnson, and Xavier Bartlett were all part of long conversations, along with several others, including Jake Fraser-McGurk who is yet to play T20 International cricket but continues to impress and is developing rapidly.

"Being constrained to a squad of 15 for World Cups is always a challenge given the different scenarios and options we’d like to cover. We will continue monitoring several players who have missed out on this preliminary squad and note that if we wish to change this squad, we have the option to do so over the coming weeks in accordance with ICC regulations.

"Ultimately the balance of the final 15 needs to provide the best chance of being successful in this campaign," he said.

Australia's T20 World Cup squad: Mitch Marsh (Captain), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. (IANS)

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