Home » Fraser-McGurk, Smith miss out as Australia names experienced 15-man squad for T20 World Cup

Fraser-McGurk, Smith miss out as Australia names experienced 15-man squad for T20 World Cup

Australian selectors have rejected the temptations offered by precocious talent Jake Fraser-McGurk and will rely on a core group of established cricketers in a bid to become the first nation to be world champions in all three formats of the sport at the same time.

The 15-man squad to head to the West Indies for the T20 World Cup being hosted in the Caribbean and by the United States in June was confirmed on Wednesday, with reigning Allan Border Medallist Mitch Marsh named as captain.

Pat Cummins, who led Australia to the World Test Championship and ODI World Cup successes last year, and champion pacemen Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood headline a select group of Australians seeking the unprecedented triple crown in world cricket.

Veteran opener David Warner and the dynamic Travis Head, along with Marsh, also have the chance to claim a third World Cup in the space of 13 months after being named in the squad to head to the Caribbean.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 01: Mitch Marsh speaks to media during a 2024 Cricket Australia Awards Media Opportunity at Crown Entertainment Complex on February 01, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images for Cricket Australia)Source: Getty Images

But there was no room in the squad for former Australian captain Steve Smith, who featured in the T20 World Cup winning team in 2021 and was also a member of the side that finished runner-up in 2010, after he failed to impress in New Zealand in February.

Nor did the dazzling IPL performances of Fraser-McGurk, who also impressed when representing Australia in ODIs against the West Indies last summer, prove enough for selectors to choose the 22-year-old as a wildcard option for the tournament.

The Victorian, who represents South Australia in domestic cricket, has made three half-centuries in five innings in batter-friendly conditions in India, which included a staggering 84 from just 27 balls against an attack featuring star quick Jasprit Bumrah last weekend.

84 off 27 balls! Fraser-McGurk goes BANG | 03:02

Despite calls from former Australian captain Tim Paine and Mark Waugh, who now works as a Fox Cricket pundit, for his inclusion, the selection panel of George Bailey, Tony Dodemaide and national coach Andrew McDonald opted for a more experienced group.

Bailey, the chair of the selection panel, said it was difficult to squeeze Smith and Fraser-McGurk, along with others including Matt Short, out of the team given their talents.

“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,” Bailey said.

“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.”

All-rounders Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis, who was excluded from a list of nationally contracted players for the next season, were both named in the squad.

Stoinis starred overnight for the Lucknow Super Giants when guiding his team to a triumph over the Mumbai Indians when scoring 62 runs in a modest pursuit of 145.

Stoinis SMACKS 19 boundaries in epic ton | 08:31

Fellow Western Australian Green struggled for his best in the infancy of the competition but made 37 from 20 balls and then took two crucial wickets when representing the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in an upset win over the Cummins-led Sunrises Hyderabad last week.

Glenn Maxwell has returned to the IPL after a brief “mental and physical” break while Warner, who has bone bruising on his left hand, remains the ideal candidate to partner Head at the top of the order, according to selectors.

Wicketkeeper batsmen Matthew Wade and Josh Inglis are capable of scoring quickly in the middle-order, while Ashton Agar, who is without either a national and state contracts next season, was chosen as the reserve spinner in support of Adam Zampa.

Hobart Hurricanes skipper Nathan Ellis, who has taken 24 wickets in 14 T20 outings for Australia, and powerhouse batter Tim David round out an experienced squad. The duo, who are aged 29 and 28 respectively, are the only squad members younger than 30.

“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,” Bailey said.

“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.”

Delhi Capitals’ David Warner plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on April 12, 2024. (Photo by Noah SEELAM / AFP) / — IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE —Source: AFP

Australia is pooled with England and associate trio Oman, Namibia and Scotland in the group stages of the World Cup and are strongly favoured to progress to the quarterfinals to the tournament.

Australia will play Oman in its first match in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 5.

Marsh, who has captained Australia with success in the T20 format, said he was honoured to have been named skipper of the side.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Cricket Australia chairman Mike Baird described Marsh as an “exemplary player and leader within the group for a long period of time”.

“He has developed his captaincy in state and BBL cricket and now extends this leadership to international level. The Board looks forward to watching the team in the West Indies and wish them every success,” he said.

AUSTRALIAN SQUAD FOR T20 World Cup

David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar, Cameron Green, Nathan Ellis