Steve Smith misses place in T20 World Cup squad

Steve Smith
Steve Smith fails to find a spot in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad. Photo Courtesy: Steve Smith Instagram page

Australian selectors have ignored former captain and veteran batsman Steve Smith in the T20 World Cup squad which will be led by Mitch Marsh later this year.

Apart from Smith, selectors also ignored emerging talent Jake Fraser-McGurk who had made a strong point for his inclusion in the squad following his sensational performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

The young Australian batsman looked promising after he scored 247 runs in five matches for the Delhi Capitals at an astonishing strike rate of 237.50.

This is the first time Smith, who was also a part of the Australian squad which won the 50-over title last year in India, will miss out on a T20 World Cup seat in more than a decade.

He was part of the  2015 and 2023 (ODI), and 2021 (T20) World title winning teams.

Ashton Agar and Cameron Green are the big winners from the 15-man squad named for June’s T20 event, with the Western Australian pair picked despite both having been absent from international T20 cricket for nearly 18 months.

Having led the T20I side on an interim basis for the past 12 months, Mitch Marsh has been formally appointed captain of the veteran group gunning for their second men’s T20 title.

Selectors added experienced campaigners like David Warner, Pat Cummins,  Mitchell Starc and  Adam Zampa to give stability to the team which last won the title in 2021.

Marsh and his men will try to complete the full cycle of winning all titles as Australia won the World Test Championship by beating India last year.

“It’s been an immense privilege to play for my country and now an even greater honour to lead the squad to a World Cup,” said Marsh as quoted by the Cricket Australia website.

“We have had some strong success in recent times and I am hopeful that will continue in what looks like a wide-open tournament,” he said.

Selection chief George Bailey listed Smith, Matt Short, Jason Behrendorff, Aaron Hardie, Spencer Johnson and Xavier Bartlett as unfortunate omissions, while suggesting Fraser-McGurk “continues to impress and is developing rapidly”.

“Being constrained to a squad of 15 for World Cups is always a challenge given the different scenarios and options we’d like to cover,” Bailey said.

“We will continue monitoring several players who have missed out on this preliminary squad and note that if we wish to change this squad, we have the option to do so over the coming weeks in accordance with ICC regulations,” he said.

Australia’s T20 World Cup squad

Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.