Australia squad and contract list confirmed

Batsman Shaun Marsh, who had been a debatable selection but was Australia’s best batsman last year, will make the trip. Marsh also retains a central contract despite being axed from the Test team.

Steve Smith and David Warner, having served their 12-month bans for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, were named and have regained their CA contracts.

Usman Khawaja also secured a World Cup spot, having emerged as Australia’s most prolific batsman this year opening the batting alongside Finch in Warner’s absence. But just who will open come the World Cup opener against Afghanistan on June 1 remains a point of intrigue.

Veteran Shaun Marsh.Credit:AAP

Selection chairman Trevor Hohns said there had been several tough calls.

“Steve Smith and David Warner come back into the squad. Both are world class players and it has been pleasing to see them produce some good form in the IPL,” he said.

“Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson have both been named subject to fitness. The advice from the CA medical team is they are progressing well and barring any setbacks will be available for selection ahead of our opening match against Afghanistan on June 1.”

Mitch Marsh had been Test vice-captain in October but has lost his spot in all three formats and has been stripped of his CA contract. However, he remains firmly in the international mix and has been selected in the Australia A squads for the tour of England ahead of this year’s Ashes series.

Selectors have named two squads – one for the five limited overs matches and another for three four-day games. Test captain Tim Paine will lead the team in the four-day matches. Hazlewood has been chosen in both squads in a bid to have him fit for the Ashes.

“Having not played at the highest level for some time, we feel this will provide him with the best preparation to get some quality cricket under his belt. Our focus is to have Josh back bowling at his best for the commencement of a big Ashes tour,” Hohns said.

Fast bowler James Pattinson, who has regained a central contract, has been named in both A squads, having originally been told to concentrate on county cricket in England. Emerging star Will Pucovski is also a part of both A squads.

“We have Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle and Daniel Worrall in our sights but they have not been included in the squad and will continue to play through this period with their county teams,” Hohns said.

Ashton Agar, Matt Renshaw, Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake lost their central contracts while Marnus Labuschagne, who played five Tests and had been upgraded to a contract, also missed out on the 20-man list. Opening batsman Marcus Harris, who was also upgraded last summer, retains his spot.

Australia World Cup squad:

Aaron Finch (capt)
(109 ODIs, 4052 runs at 39.33, 13 centuries)

David Warner
(106 ODIs, 4343 runs at 43.43, 14 centuries)

Usman Khawaja
(31 ODIs, 1238 runs at 44.21, 2 centuries)

Steve Smith
(108 ODIs, 3431 at 41.84, 8 centuries)

Shaun Marsh
(71 ODIs, 2747 runs at 41.62, 7 centuries)

Glenn Maxwell
(100 ODIs, 2700 runs at 33.33, 1 century)

Marcus Stoinis
(33 ODIs, 963 runs at 38.52, 1 century)

Alex Carey
(19 ODIs, 429 runs at 30.64, 0 centuries)

Nathan Coulter-Nile
(27 ODIs, 48 wickets at 26.56)

Jhye Richardson
(12 ODIs, 24 wickets at 26.33)

Mitchell Starc
(75 ODIs, 145 wickets at 21.44)

Pat Cummins
(48 ODIs, 82 wickets at 26.53)

Jason Behrendorff
(6 ODIs, 7 wickets at 41.42)

Adam Zampa
(44 ODIs, 60 wickets at 35.45)

Nathan Lyon
(25 ODIs, 26 wickets at 44.34)

CA contracts list: Patrick Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Australia A men’s one-day squad: Travis Head (c) (South Australia), Matthew Wade (Tasmania), Will Pucovski (Victoria), Peter Handscomb (Victoria), Ashton Turner (Western Australia), Mitch Marsh (vc) (Western Australia), D’Arcy Short (Western Australia), Kurtis Patterson (New South Wales), Ashton Agar (Western Australia), Michael Neser (Queensland), James Pattinson (Victoria), Josh Hazlewood (vc) (New South Wales), Kane Richardson (South Australia), Sean Abbott (New South Wales).

Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c) (Tasmania), Marcus Harris (Victoria), Kurtis Patterson (New South Wales), Will Pucovski (Victoria), Travis Head (vc) (South Australia), Peter Handscomb (Victoria), Matthew Wade (Tasmania), Mitch Marsh (Western Australia), Michael Neser (Queensland), Jon Holland (Victoria), James Pattinson (Victoria), Jackson Bird (Tasmania), Josh Hazlewood (vc) (New South Wales), Chris Tremain (Victoria).

Jon Pierik is a sports writer with The Age, focusing primarily on AFL football, cricket and basketball. He has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.

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