The Australian men’s Qantas Tour of England has been confirmed with Aaron Finch’s squad to travel to the United Kingdom later this month.
Cricket Australia (CA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to detailed biosecurity and travel plans for what will be the first international tour undertaken by an Australian national sporting team since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The CA board approved the plans at a meeting last week and the Australian Government on Wednesday granted exemptions for outbound travel for the touring Australian squad.
Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia Executive General Manager of National Teams, will be available to the media today, Friday August 14, at 4:30pm AEST via Zoom.
The Australian men’s team will depart from Perth on Sunday, August 23 and travel to Derby. They will play four practice matches – three T20s and one 50-over game – before playing England in three Twenty20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton and Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. Both venues have hotels on site.
Cricket Australia has also worked closely with the Federal and Western Australian Governments as well as health authorities in planning the tour.
Nick Hockley, CA’s Interim Chief Executive, said: “We are very excited to be heading to England and to get back into the international fray. We congratulate the ECB on leading the resumption of the game in a way that places the health and safety of players and staff at its core.
“We would also like to thank both the Australian Government and the Western Australian Government, as well as all those who have worked tirelessly to put together a plan that allows for the tour to progress in a bio-secure way.”
Justin Langer, the Australian men’s Head Coach, said: “It’s vital for cricket that we do everything we can to keep the game going in these tough times.
“I am delighted with how the players have returned to their states from the break back in March. The whole squad has come back fitter and stronger, which is great testament to each of them.
“We have a massive assignment ahead with World Cups, Test Series against India and South Africa and the Ashes next year. We can’t wait to get back into it again.”
The three One-Day Internationals will form part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.
Upon return to Australia the squad will quarantine for two weeks in a bio-secure hub in Perth, with Cricket Australia working closely with the Western Australian Government to finalise arrangements.
The National Selection Panel (NSP) has chosen the following Australian T20 and ODI squad for the Qantas Tour of England:
Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
Sean Abbott (New South Wales)
Ashton Agar (Western Australia)
Alex Carey (South Australia)
Pat Cummins (vc) (New South Wales)
Josh Hazlewood (New South Wales)
Marnus Labuschagne (Queensland)
Nathan Lyon (New South Wales)
Mitchell Marsh (Western Australia)
Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
Riley Meredith (Tasmania)
Josh Philippe (Western Australia)
Daniel Sams (New South Wales)
Kane Richardson (South Australia)
Steven Smith (New South Wales)
Mitchell Starc (New South Wales)
Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia)
Andrew Tye (Western Australia)
Matthew Wade (Tasmania)
David Warner (New South Wales)
Adam Zampa (New South Wales)
“It’s a squad with great depth and a sprinkle of some exceptional young players,” Trevor Hohns, National Selector, said.
“We are very pleased with the final group which was chosen with a view to continuing our recent form in T20 cricket and the longer term goal of returning to the top in the 50 over game.
“The top and middle order is extremely strong, there’s plenty of accomplished all-rounders, fantastic fast bowling depth and spin options. The squad also has the cover required to meet all contingencies given replacements are not available for this tour if injury or illness were to occur.
“The NSP believes this squad, along with those who missed out and others who perform well in domestic cricket, offers a solid platform for success in the white ball game going forward.”
Glenn Maxwell returns to the side from an elbow injury in place of D’Arcy Short while fellow all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is also back in the squad.
Maxwell’s return to international cricket, along with his all-round skills, means Short comes out of the squad having replaced the Victorian on the tour of South Africa in March.
Young guns Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams and Riley Meredith also join the UK squad.
“We are very excited by these young players who we believe are all capable of playing a role in the Australian setup in coming years,” Hohns said.
Aaron Finch will captain the side with Pat Cummins as vice-captain. The NSP has reviewed and refined the leadership of the squad, reverting to the traditional setup of captain and vice-captain.
“After taking advice and reviewing the leadership of the squad we have decided to revert back to the traditional captain and one vice-captain setup,” Hohns said.
“Alex remains a genuine leader within the squad and will continue to provide valuable support to Aaron as skipper. Pat is very much in the same category and someone the entire squad has immense respect for as a person and a player.
“This is not a reflection of succession planning, but rather a decision to return to the traditional leadership set-up that has served Australian cricket so well for generations.
“We now have quite an established and experienced senior playing group who all play an important role in the leadership of the team on and off the field. As has always been the case all senior players have a strong voice in all aspects of planning, preparation and playing.”
Australian men’s team Senior Assistant Coach Andrew McDonald will not travel with the squad to the UK to fulfill a pre-existing commitment as Head Coach of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
McDonald will resume his duties with the Australian men’s team at the conclusion of the IPL.
Experienced CA High Performance Coach Troy Cooley and Melbourne Stars WBBL Head Coach Trent Woodhill will provide coaching support to Justin Langer throughout the tour, in addition to Performance Analyst Dene Hills, Selector George Bailey and the broader team support staff.
Australian Men’s Qantas Tour of England matches:
Friday, Sept 4: 1st T20 International, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Sunday, Sept 6: 2nd T20 International, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Tuesday, Sept 8: 3rd T20 International, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Friday, Sept 11: 1st ODI, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Sunday, Sept 13: 2nd ODI, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Wednesday, Sept 16: 3rd ODI, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester