Pat Cummins to make comeback
Pat Cummins, the Australia fast bowler, will play his first competitive match after nine months with a back injury for the Northern Ireland Cricket Academy on Wednesday.
Cummins was named as a non-playing member of the Australia A squad who have played four-day matches against Scotland and Ireland in the past two weeks.
The squad have travelled to Bristol to face Gloucestershire on Friday but Cummins will remain in Ireland to play for the NICA against MCC at Carrickfergus, just outside Belfast.
Forty-eight hours later he will switch colours to play for MCC against Ireland Under-19s, part of their preparations for the Under-19 World Cup qualifier in August.
Cummins has not played since October last year when he bowled four overs for 27 to help Sydney Sixers beat Lions in the Champions League final. During the tournament he complained of stiffness and on his return home was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back.
Cummins made his international debut aged just 18 on Australia's tour of South Africa in October 2011. His first, and to date only, Test at the Wanderers included 6 for 79 in the second innings, earning him the match award in a narrow Australian victory.
He has also impressed in five ODIs, including playing England at Lord's last year, and a successful World T20 in Sri Lanka where he claimed six wickets at 32.83 to help Australia to the semi-final.
Despite the understandable hype surrounding Cummins, his injury history has compelled Cricket Australia to take a conservative approach with him this time around, and he is unlikely to figure in international calculations for some time yet.