Sport Cricket Jackson Bird to fly to South Africa

Jackson Bird to fly to South Africa

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Fast bowler Jackson Bird is a confirmed starter for the tour of South Africa, but batsman Shaun Marsh is yet to be cleared.

Bird will fly to South Africa on Friday alongside Moises Henriques, after successively proving he’s recovered from jarring his back in a Big Bash League game last week.

The Tasmanian quick was held back to see if he could get through two days of net bowling before being given the green light to tour and provide cover for Australia’s Ashes-winning attack.

Marsh injured his calf in an Australian ODI win over England and a decision is yet to be made on his availability.

The left-hander is in Perth receiving treatment and, given his extensive injury history, there are grave concerns over whether he will make the trip.

If Marsh is ruled out, it appears South Australian Phil Hughes will take his place, despite being initially overlooked for the 15-man squad.

Bird was put through his paces in the nets in Hobart on Wednesday, under the supervision of Australian coach Darren Lehmann and national selection panel member Rod Marsh.

The 27-year-old returned home early from last year’s Ashes tour of the UK with a back problem and, as a precaution, he was pulled out of a scheduled second XI game on Monday and his flight to South Africa delayed.