Australia will take a depleted squad to the West Indies and Bangladesh after several big names, including David Warner, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell, opted out of the upcoming white ball tours.
Steve Smith, who is nursing an elbow injury, is also missing from the final 18-man group that will depart for the West Indies on 28 June to play five T20 internationals and three one-dayers.
Five more T20s are then slated in Bangladesh, although both tours are still subject to agreement on biosecurity arrangements and relevant government approvals.
Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams and Marcus Stoinis also requested not to be considered for the tour, with the rigours of international travel, quarantine and bubble life over the past year behind their decisions.
The quartet, along with Warner, Cummins and Maxwell, all played in the curtailed IPL season and endured a difficult journey back to Australia.
Smith will use the time to fully recover ahead of the T20 World Cup and a home Ashes series later this year.
Trevor Hohns, the national selector, said Cricket Australia was disappointed not to have all players available, but added the selection panel fully respected the decisions of those players staying at home.
“International tours in the time of Covid-19 undoubtedly present many additional challenges for athletes,” Hohns said. “They also present opportunities for others and, in this case, the chance to push for selection in the Australian men’s T20 World Cup squad later this year and beyond.
“This is a great chance for these players to make a case for the World Cup and all are considered very real prospects of making that tournament by performing well across these tours.”
Not all Australians who played in the IPL opted out, and Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Dan Christian and Jason Behrendorff have been included. Adam Zampa and Andrew Tye, who both played but escaped India before the competition was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, are also on the list.
“We are fortunate to have excellent depth in Australian cricket and we’re extremely excited by the inclusions of Wes Agar, Ben McDermott, Dan Christian and Ashton Turner to the squad,” Hohns said.
“We are equally pleased to have Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Swepson back in the white ball squad having missed the recent tour of New Zealand through their selection in the Test squad for South Africa.”
Aaron Finch will captain the squad, which also included pace duo Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
“CA has maintained from the start of the pandemic that we would support players or staff members through the additional demands placed upon them by hubs and quarantine,” Alex Kountouris, CA’s head medical officer, said.
“We look forward to a time when hubs and quarantines are things of the past, but for now we will continue to manage the situation as best we can with the wellbeing of our people at the forefront of our decision-making.”
Australia’s 18-man squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitch Marsh, Riley Meredith, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa. Reserves: Tanveer Sangha, Nathan Ellis.