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Australia Facing Player Shortage For T20 WC Warm-Ups: Skipper Marsh

3 weeks ago 15

Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh in action© AFP

Australia is facing shortage of players and might be forced to use support staff as substitute fielders in the warm-up games of next month's T20 World Cup due to the low turnaround time between the IPL and the global showpiece. Australia are set to play two warm-up games against Namibia on Wednesday and the West Indies on Friday in Trinidad but they might have as few as eight players available for the two matches since most of them will take a break following their stint in the IPL playoffs.

"We're going to be undermanned. But it is a practice game. The guys who need to play will play as much as they can and we'll figure it out from there," captain Mitchell Marsh, who himself is not certain to play against Namibia as he is recovering from a hamstring injury, told cricket.com.au.

The IPL finals between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad concluded on Sunday night and three players -– Travis Head, Pat Cummins and player of the match Mitchell Starc –- were part of the two teams.

Besides the trio, Cameron Green and Glenn Maxwell, who were part of the Royal Challengers Bengaluru, will only link up with the World Cup squad by the end of the week in Barbados, while Marcus Stoinis, who played for Lucknow Super Giants, is expected to arrive in Trinidad only after the Namibia practice match.

Travelling reserves Jake Fraser-McGurk and Matt Short too are set to join after Australia's first match of the tournament proper which is against Oman on June 5.

"It's important to be flexible. Guys who have been at the IPL have been playing a lot of cricket. We prioritised giving them a couple of days at home to see their families, refresh, and play the long game for this tournament," Marsh said.

"We will get our 15 (all together) eventually, but really important that we give them a break, even if it's just a couple of days at home, that's really important." According to ICC rules, players taking to the field in the warm-up games must be from the country they are representing.

It means, support staff like Andrew McDonald, Brad Hodge, George Bailey (all former international cricketers) and Andre Borovec (an ex-first grade wicketkeeper) might be required to run around in the field.

Marsh played just four IPL games for Delhi Capitals before flying out to Perth in April to consult CA's medical staff for his hamstring injury. He hasn't played since and is yet to resume bowling.

"I'm probably still a little while off (bowling) – I'll start bowling hopefully soon. Get through these practice games as a batter and then we'll ramp it up," said Marsh.

"We're lucky that we've got so many options with the ball and so much talent with Stoin, Greeny. I'll bowl when I need to bowl. I thought (this injury) was a three-weeker. Now it's been seven (weeks). With tendons it's a little bit on feel.

"Once I was ruled out of the IPL, we certainly took our time. I'm exactly where I need to be with all the planning leading into the World Cup, I'll be ready to go."

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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