Cricket Australia announced an 18-man squad for Bangladesh and West Indies tours on Wednesday. However, seven Aussie stars have withdrawn from these tours which consists of ODI and T20I matches.
The players who opted out are Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson.
While Smith has withdrawn because of an elbow injury, the other six players requested not to be picked for the tour due to personal reasons.
National Selector Trevor Hohns said he was “naturally disappointed” but “respects the decisions of those who have opted out of this tour”.
“International tours in the time of Covid-19 undoubtedly present many additional challenges for athletes,” he added.
“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.”
None the less, the pulling out of big stars meant that fast bowler Wes Agar got his maiden call-up, while Tasmanian pacer Nathan Ellis and leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha have been added as reserves.
The 18-member squad, led by Aaron Finch, will leave for the West Indies on June 28 and play five T20Is in St Lucia followed by three ODIs in Barbados.
There is still doubt over the Bangladesh tour, Cricket Australia said, but if confirmed will consist of five T20Is.
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Riley Meredith, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.