Morris released from Australia Test squad to play BBL


Lance Morris has been released from the Australia Test squad to play in the BBL following the first Test against Pakistan in Perth with the group being cut to 13 for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
There was excitement around Morris potentially making his Test debut in Perth but with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood all returning from the ODI World Cup in excellent shape, and Scott Boland being held in reserve, Morris will be sent back to the BBL to be available for Perth Scorchers’ clash with Hobart Hurricanes on December 20 at Optus Stadium.

Boland remains unavailable for Melbourne Stars as he remains on standby as the first bowling reserve for the second Test.

“Lance has been released for the Melbourne match but will stay prepared for Test cricket as he remains firmly in our plans for the summer, should an opportunity arise,” national selector George Bailey said.

There has been some push and pull behind the scenes between Cricket Australia and the BBL clubs over availability of fringe Australia players. Brisbane Heat were very frustrated by losing four players to the Prime Minister’s XI team for the first two matches of the season to the point where Michael Neser was released from the PM’s XI to play in the Heat’s BBL opener against Stars.

Melbourne Renegades coach David Saker expressed surprise at Boland’s being ruled out of the BBL opener for the Stars.

Cameron Green does not have a BBL contract and will remain with the squad as 12th man with incumbent allrounder Mitchell Marsh maintaining his place for the opening Test against Pakistan where he was named Player of the Match.

Meanwhile, Victoria have named three Test players in Marcus Harris, Peter Handscomb and Will Pucovski to play in a two-day tour match against Pakistan at the Junction Oval in Melbourne in the lead-up to the second Test. The Victoria XI will be comprised of players who do not have BBL deals, including those three.

Australia squad for Melbourne Test David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Cameron Green, Scott Boland



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