Melbourne [Australia], February 24 (ANI): Australia pacer Mitchell Starc and batting mainstay Steve Smith have pulled out from the New South Wales squad for the game against Victoria on Thursday.
Australia’s premier fast bowler will miss the clash after his father passed away from cancer on Tuesday. Starc’s wife Alyssa Healy will also miss the NSW Breakers’ WNCL match against Tasmania.
“Obviously it’s very sad, sad news. All our thoughts and prayers are going out to Mitch and his family,” quoted teammate Nathan Lyon as saying.
“It’s obviously never great losing someone like that. It’s a tough time but he knows he’s got all our love and all our support from not just me but everyone here at NSW cricket and the cricket community as well,” he added.
Meanwhile, Smith has withdrawn due to an elbow issue he picked during the Test series against India in January.
“I have had some pain in my elbow that’s gradually worsened since the Test against India at the SCG and it requires some rest and rehab,” Smith said.
“I am hoping I will be right to travel with the Blues to Adelaide for our games down there next week but we will have to see how it responds to treatment,” he added.
Moreover, with the cancellation of the Test series against South Africa, Australian pacer Pat Cummins and wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey will return to Sheffield Shield cricket to play their first match of the season after being included in the New South Wales and South Australia squads respectively.
Cummins comes into the squad in place of fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who has been rested. The Australia pace spearhead Cummins had captained New South Wales in the Marsh Cup last week.
New South Wales coach Phil Jacques said that change was necessary to manage the defending champions’ pace battery. (ANI)