OPENER David Warner’s troubled tour of England has ended prematurely after Cricket Australia revealed he has been dropped for the upcoming one-day internationals against Scotland and England.
Australia play a one-off match against Scotland at the Grange in Edinburgh tomorrow before meeting England in a five-game series, but Warner and fast bowler Mitchell Starc will fly home in the coming days.
Starc has been left out after he became the latest Australia quick to succumb to injury when he was diagnosed with lower back soreness.
Warner’s omission on form is a surprise, with coach Darren Lehmann revealing his lack of runs in the 50-over game has counted against him.
Warner has made just one half-century in his past 11 ODIs and captured the headlines for the wrong reasons during the Champions Trophy in June after aiming a punch at England opener Joe Root in a Birmingham bar.
The incident occurred after the two sides met at Edgbaston – when Warner scored just nine – and the 26-year-old left-hander was subsequently left out of Australia’s remaining games in the tournament.
Warner was also suspended in the lead-up to the Ashes before being sent to Australia A’s tour of Africa to earn match sharpness. His return in the third Test was greeted by boos from the Manchester crowd. “David has been left out of the Australian ODI squad for this tour purely due to his recent lack of form in this format,” Lehmann said in a CA statement. “By his own admission, David would acknowledge that he hasn’t scored the weight of runs that he would like recently in one-day cricket for his country.
“Like all selection matters, it was a tough decision, but, like all players, he understands the situation and knows he needs to get back to playing Ryobi Cup and making a heap of runs that we can’t ignore.
“I spoke with David at length about what he needs to do and I’ve been impressed with his attitude since I’ve come into the Australian set-up.”
Starc joins a growing list of Australia bowlers on the sidelines with injuries ahead of this winter’s return Ashes series.
James Pattinson flew home with a back problem after playing in the first two Tests, while Ryan Harris was this week ruled out for up to eight weeks with a hamstring injury suffered at the Kia Oval.
Jackson Bird managed just the Chester-le-Street Test before suffering lower back problems, while injury-prone speedster Pat Cummins also faces missing most of the winter. Commenting on Starc’s injury, Australian cricket team doctor Peter Brukner said: “Mitch reported some lower back pain in recent days so we have decided it’s best for him to return to Australia for further assessment and investigation.”
Starc and Warner will fly home two days after batsman Steve Smith also returned home with a “very minor” quad injury.
Australia were due to reduce their Twenty20 squad by three down to 15 players, for the upcoming ODIs.
Wright aims to grab chance
ALL-ROUNDER Luke Wright is determined to re-establish himself in England’s one-day international team after more than two years on the fringes.
Wright has not played a 50-over match in England colours since their World Cup quarter-final exit to Sri Lanka in March 2011.
But he has been given the chance to add to his 46 ODI caps in the upcoming matches against Ireland and Australia following the decision to rest the core of England’s Ashes winners.
England’s selectors have been criticised for omitting the likes of skipper Alastair Cook and James Anderson, but it presents an opportunity for players on the periphery such as Wright to push their claims as preparations start to begin for the World Cup in 18 months’ time.
“It’s a massive series for myself,” he said.
“It’s something we have worked for for a long time. Since I got injured and lost my place I have been desperate to get back into it.
“It’s an opportunity to stake a claim.
“There is a World Cup in 2015 and whenever you are in front of the selectors it’s a huge series.”