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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Steve Smith, Jake Fraser-McGurk fails to make cut for Australia's T20 World Cup squad

Smith, a member of Australia's title-winning squad at the 2021 tournament in the United Arab Emirates, played T20s against New Zealand in February but was unable to push his claims further after missing out on an IPL contract

Reuters Melbourne Published 02.05.24, 08:48 AM
Steve Smith.

Steve Smith. File picture

Australia selectors have dropped veteran campaigner Steve Smith for the T20 World Cup and ignored calls to include Jake Fraser-McGurk in their squad despite the young batsman's sensational form in the ongoing IPL.

Smith, a member of Australia's title-winning squad at the 2021 tournament in the United Arab Emirates, played T20s against New Zealand in February but was unable to push his claims further after missing out on an IPL contract.

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With more than 16,000 runs in international cricket, Smith has been one of Australia's finest all-format servants and his omission will be a bitter pill for the 34-year-old.

Selectors chief George Bailey said there was no room for Smith in a settled top order featuring David Warner, Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh, who was confirmed as captain.

"It's probably for Steve to answer what his goals or challenges are going forward and what he wants to achieve in the game," Bailey told reporters in a video call on Wednesday. "I know he still loves playing T20 cricket."

Though uncapped in T20 internationals, 22-year-old Fraser-McGurk had made a strong case for inclusion, scoring 247 runs in five matches for the Delhi Capitals at an astonishing strike rate of 237.50.

Bailey said Fraser-McGurk was among players who were part of "long conversations" for the June 1-29 showpiece in the United States and the Caribbean.

But his only hope of playing now rests with injuries occurring in the 15-man squad.

Selectors opted for a second spinner in Ashton Agar and picked Cameron Green as a back-up all-rounder while remaining loyal to the core of players who helped Australia win an unprecedented sixth 50-over World Cup last year.

Reuters

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