Sean Abbott’s tour of Sri Lanka is over even before it started after breaking a finger in the nets, while Cameron Green and Alex Carey will start theirs early after being added to the Australia ‘A’ squad.
Fast bowler Abbott, who played both white-ball formats for Australia in their most recent series in Pakistan, is heading home after a net bowler struck him on the hand and fractured his left index finger at training this week.
The 30-year-old was only in Australia’s T20I squad for the tour beginning Tuesday evening, but was expected to stay on with the ‘A’ side that is playing two 50-over games and two four-day matches in Colombo and Hambantota.
Australia have not named a replacement for Abbott in the T20 squad. Jhye Richardson is the reserve fast bowler, while selectors also have the option of dipping into the ‘A’ squad should they need to.
Queensland wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson has been added to the ‘A’ squad as a replacement for Peter Handscomb who is flying home early to be with his pregnant wife Sarah in Melbourne.
The Aussies have also confirmed Ashes star Scott Boland will head to Sri Lanka earlier than anticipated with a view to play the ‘A’ team’s first four-day game next week.
Neither Green nor Carey were in the original ‘A’ squad, but both are in Sri Lanka early for the main team’s ODI series beginning in Kandy next week and are set to play the first two one-dayers against Sri Lanka ‘A’ at the SSC Ground in Colombo.
Carey will captain a strong Australia ‘A’ XI on Wednesday featuring international capped players Josh Philippe, Nic Maddinson and Matthew Renshaw.
Three specialist spin bowlers have been picked in Matthew Kuhnemann, Todd Murphy and Tanveer Sangha, while Aaron Hardie and Henry Hunt will play at this level for the first time following strong domestic performances.
The addition of Peirson is an endorsement for the hard-working gloveman whose skills behind the stumps have earned high praise at domestic level, as has his leadership of the Queensland and Brisbane Heat teams.
It is a sign selectors see him as the third Test keeper in line behind incumbent Carey and back-up Josh Inglis.
Sri Lanka have named a 19-player ‘A’ squad for the one-day series captained by Dhananjaya de Silva, which will also feature 49-Test veteran Niroshan Dickwella.
Australia ‘A’ XI for first one-dayer against Sri Lanka A: Henry Hunt, Josh Philippe Matthew Renshaw, Nic Maddinson, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (c), Aaron Hardie, Mark Steketee, Todd Murphy, Matthew Kuhnemann, Tanveer Sangha