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Australia to play T20 World Cup warm-up matches with only nine players? Here's why

Australia are scheduled to play two warm-up matches ahead of the T20 World Cup against Namibia and hosts West Indies before their opening game on June 5 against Oman. They had won the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE but could make it to the semis in last edition played at home.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: May 27, 2024 12:47 IST
T20 World Cup 2024
Image Source : GETTY Australia team

With IPL 2024 done and dusted, the focus shifts to the T20 World Cup that is set to commence from June 1 in the West Indies and the USA. The warm-up matches for the mega event are starting from today (May 27) and Australia are set to face Namibia in their first game on May 29 (according to IST). However, they have only nine players available for the warm-up games with the IPL bound players resting ahead of the tournament proper.

The Australian players who were involved in the playoffs of IPL have been permitted to spend some time at home and join the squad fresh ahead of their first group game on June 5 against Oman. Pat Cummins, Travis Head and Mitchell Starc played in the IPL final on Sunday (May 26) while Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green, playing for RCB, were knocked out in the eliminator. These five players will join the World Cup squad directly in Barbados where they will face Oman.

"It's important to be flexible. Guys have been at the IPL. They've been playing a lot of cricket so we've prioritized giving them a couple of days at home, see their family, refresh and play the long game for this tournament. We'll get to our 15 eventually but it's really important that we give them a break, even if it's [just] a couple of days at home," skipper Mitchell Marsh said while speaking to cricket.com.au.

Moreover, Marsh himself will not bowl in the warm-up matches as he continues to recover from hamstring injury he sustained in the IPL. However, he is set to play as a batter in both matches. With only nine players available now, it is certain that the 2021 T20 World Champions will have to call upon the coaching staff to take the field in the warm-ups. "I'm just ticking off the last few things I need to tick off to be fit and available.

"All went well today. It's been progressively slow but finally getting there now and looking forward to getting stuck into the tournament.Initially we thought it was a three-weeker but with tendons they can take a little bit longer and you sort of have to go on feel. Once I was ruled out of the IPL we've certainly taken our time to get it right and I feel lucky I've had that bit of extra time, a little bit of time at home to refresh and like all the others who have arrived today I'm raring to go," Marsh added. 

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