Marnus Labuschagne returns as Australia announce 15-man squad

Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday alconfirmed its finalised 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup, scheduled to kick-off on October 5, with middle-order batter Marnus Labuschagne replacing Ashton Agar.

Labuschagne’s inclusion in place of Agar is the only change CA made to the preliminary squad announced it had announced earlier this month.

Earlier, Labuschagne wasn’t included in the preliminary squad of Australia for the marquee event, but some fine knocks in the ODIs against South Africa and India recently has handed the right-hander a late lifeline.

The exclusion of Agar means that Australia will play the 2023 World Cup with just one specialist spinner in their squad in Adam Zampa. Experienced all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is expected to support Adam Zampa in the spin-friendly Indian tracks.

Speaking on the development, Chair of Selectors George Bailey said: “There has been one change to the original preliminary squad of 15 announced a month ago with Marnus replacing Ashton. This was a tough call but unfortunately, we couldn’t carry both Travis and Ashton into the tournament with the injuries they have.”

“We have made the decision to carry Travis through the early stages with the aim of him being available around the mid part of the tournament. He has been a really important player in this ODI team and we are hopeful his return can provide a positive impetus as it gets to the business end of the tournament,” he added.

“Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell are progressing well through the rehabilitation of their respective injuries and it was pleasing to see them return to the playing eleven last night,” he further added.

Meanwhile, batter Matt Short and spinner Tanveer Sangha will remain with the Aussie squad in India until at least the the warm-up games.

Ben Oliver, Executive General Manager of the National Team, said: “We are enormously proud of these 15 players who will represent Australia in the World Cup over the six weeks of the tournament and wish the squad all the very best.”

“It has been a highly successful year for Pat and the squad with a home summer and an Indian Test tour leading into winning the World Test Championship, and then retention of the Ashes in England. We thank the players and the staff who have done an excellent job in maintaining their standards of preparation and performance over what has been a full 10 months and we’re looking forward to a highly competitive World Cup campaign,” he added.

Australia World Cup squad:

Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

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