Sport Cricket Steve Smith and David Warner headline missing tourists
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Steve Smith and David Warner headline missing tourists

Australia's Steve Smith will miss two white-balls tours to focus on recovering from an elbow issue. Photo: AP
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Steve Smith will miss the white-ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh while David Warner, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell have all made themselves unavailable.

Cricket Australia on Wednesday announced an 18-man squad for the two tours, with several big names asking not be considered.

Aaron Finch will captain the squad just months out from the Twenty20 World Cup, while Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Matt Wade will all figure.

Daniel Sams and Jhye and Kane Richardson joined the big names in opting to stay at home rather than endure another stint in biosecurity bubbles.

“We are naturally disappointed not to have all players available for the Australian team at this time however the (selectors) respects the decisions of those who have opted out of this tour,” chief selector Trevor Hohns said.

“Steve Smith was unavailable for selection due to an elbow injury and will now be able to use this time to fully recover ahead of the World Cup and home Ashes.

“Steve was disappointed to miss the tour with the decision made on medical grounds.

“International tours in the time of COVID-19 undoubtedly present many additional challenges for athletes.

“They also present opportunities for others and, in this case, the chance to push for selection in the Australian men’s T20 World Cup squad later this year and beyond.”

Included in the touring group is veteran Dan Christian, who remains a chance of playing his first match for Australia since October 2017.

Alex Carey also returns to the white-ball fold, while Josh Phillippe keeps his spot after debuting in New Zealand at the end of last summer.
Pace bowler Wes Agar is aiming for an international debut while touring with brother Ashton, while Ben McDermott is also included.

The squad is due to depart on June 28 for five T20s and three ODIs in the West Indies, while five T20s in Bangladesh are due to follow dependent on COVID-19 conditions.

“CA has maintained from the start of the pandemic that we would support players or staff members through the additional demands placed upon them by hubs and quarantine,” chief medico Alex Kountouris said.

“We look forward to a time when hubs and quarantines are things of the past, but for now we will continue to manage the situation as best we can with the wellbeing of our people at the forefront of our decision-making.”

Australia’s 18-man squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitch Marsh, Riley Meredith, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa. Reserves: Tanveer Sangha, Nathan Ellis.

-AAP