Jolimont: Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday announced a 26-man preliminary squad for the proposed white-ball tour of England in September and said "constructive discussions" are ongoing with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and all relevant government agencies.
"Cricket Australia has taken an important step in its process towards a possible tour of England. Acknowledging there remain several hurdles to overcome, Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager of National Teams, Ben Oliver, noted the organisation's determination to do whatever is necessary to be ready," CA said in a statement.
"The National Selection Panel (NSP) today named a preliminary list for the ODI and T20I tour of England - a positive step, albeit not a definitive one - as CA works toward a return to international cricket," it added.
CA said that a final decision is yet to be made but given the proposed timelines for the tour and the need to provide players with adequate preparation time, the NSP has "proactively selected an extended, preliminary list." The preliminary 26-player Australian list for a proposed Tour of England in September is: Australia: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Michael Neser, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, D'Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Oliver said they are doing all they can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place.
"The ECB is a long-standing and valued international cricket partner and we are doing all we can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place. We continue to work with the ECB and government agencies and a decision on the tour will be made in due course," Oliver said in a statement.
"In the meantime, the identification of a preliminary list will enable us to work with players and states more directly on the preparation for the tour in the hope it can proceed. The health and wellbeing of players and staff, along with our commitment to public health within our communities, remain our utmost priority," he added.
National Selector Trevor Hohns said: "This preliminary list covers the contingencies of playing One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals in bio-secure hubs with the likely prospect of not being able to bring in replacements should the tour proceed." "The preliminary list includes several exciting young players who have recently excelled at the state level and in the BBL. These emerging players are those we would like to develop further as we believe they have a bright future in Australian cricket. The preliminary list also has a view towards the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and in the longer term the 2023 ICC World Cup," he added.