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Warner, Smith, Bailey released to BBL

Daniel Brettig

December 18, 2013

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

George Bailey hits a six straight down the ground, Australia v England, Test, Perth, 4th day, December 16, 2013
George Bailey will play for the Hobart Hurricanes in round one of the BBL © Getty Images
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Victory in the Ashes has allowed Cricket Australia to make a concession to the start of the Big Bash League, releasing David Warner, Steven Smith and George Bailey to take part in the opening round of the Twenty20 competition this week.

Warner, Smith and Bailey were all key contributors to Australia's series-clinching win at the WACA Ground, the two New South Welshmen each making centuries while the Tasmanian put the capstone on the hosts' second innings by ransacking 28 runs from a single over bowled by James Anderson.

Australian cricket's priorities have been hotly debated over the past few seasons, with the commercial demands of the BBL and the Champions League often running headlong into the best laid plans for the national team. CA's team performance manager Pat Howard has engaged in plenty of debate with BBL teams over the issue of player availability for round one, but the swift and comprehensive nature of Australia's Ashes defeat of England has offered some room to manoeuvre between the end of the Perth Test and the Boxing Day match in Melbourne.

"We have worked closely with the BBL clubs for several months about Test player availability given the early stages of the tournament are played while the Ashes series is still in progress," Howard said. "Our Test squad has a very specific training and recovery program throughout the Ashes and we are keen to maintain that where possible.

"That being said, yesterday's series victory has given us the opportunity to be more flexible in our approach to BBL availability. After careful consideration of player fitness and workload issues, we have agreed to release George Bailey, Steve Smith and David Warner for BBL duties on 21 and 22 December.

"On this occasion, the bowlers from the first three Tests were not considered for release given their recent workload and the need to prepare for the Melbourne and Sydney Tests. We will continue to work closely with all BBL clubs on player availability and preparation."

Apart from Warner going back to the Sydney Thunder, Bailey playing for the Hobart Hurricanes and Smith the Sydney Sixers, the reserve fast bowlers Doug Bollinger and Nathan Coulter-Nile have also been allowed to play in round one.

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon have all been granted time to rest following their exertions over the first three Tests.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 20, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

BBL is 1 of the best events in int. cricket now along with the IPL.After this season and more success it is likely to match -even overtake- IPL in popularity and riches.But players in Aus test side must be wrapped in cotton wool,i.e no BBL till 5-0 W/W .

Posted by izzidole on (December 19, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

The inclusion of so many Englishmen who are not good enough to be selected to play for the England cricket team suggests the poor quality of the BBL. As such it's an insult to players like Warner, Bailey and Smith to be playing in the Big Bash having just clinched the ashes.I don't think any other player in world cricket will be allowed to take part in a T20 tournament in the middle of a test series. The trio are in great touch with the bat at the moment and hope they don't lose their momentum.The BBL no doubt is quite an hindrance to test cricket in this country and has to be put off to a later date after the conclusion of the test series in the future.

Posted by CodandChips on (December 19, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

Luke Wright, Ravi Bopara, CHRIS TREMLETT, Craig Kieswetter, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Owais Shah, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, CHRIS WOAKES all listed in BBL squads. Incredibly surprised by Tremlett as a pick, as I don't know what he's done this year. Kieswetter batted well in the FLT20 but is not a great keeper. Chris Woakes is very surprising as I'm not sure what he's done, and he was ok but not great against the Aussies at the Oval.

But good luck to all our players. Combine that with Willey, Trego and Wright in New Zealand, Morgan, Bopara and Liam Dawson in Bangladesh, and Onions in South Africa, it's nice to see our players playing abroad. But also am very surprised.

Posted by CodandChips on (December 19, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Pleasantly surprised by the amount of English players listed in Big Bash squads on this site.

Posted by JimmyDee on (December 19, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

Shouldn't matter too much. Players are as likely to injure themselves during training (like Faulkner), than they do during a game. This is T20, which is like a competitive net session, just without the nets! 20 overs in the field, and however many at the crease isn't a stretch for these guys at all.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 19, 2013, 3:17 GMT)

I cant believe people are worried about injuries, they are more likely to get injured facing Mitch Johnson in the nets than playing a T20 game. You can get injured training, should we just wrap them in cotton wool and not let them train until the next test. Surely this has to be the most ridiculous of excuses for not letting them play. They are all professional cricketers surely they can have one game of hit and giggle then go about the task of preparing for the next test.

Posted by bren19 on (December 18, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

They are cricketers. If they want to play cricket - let them play.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

My question is why are they playing this idiotic form of the game in the middle of an Ashes series. None of Australia's contracted players should be playing this tiddlywinks version of cricket. We have another test to win in 9 days' time. It's ridiculous.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

Too big a risk, what if they get injured. Test cricket is a hell of a lot more important that 20/20. Be interesting to see just how many people go to the 20/20, crowds are going down each year.

Posted by valvolux on (December 18, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

I dont see a problem. Obviously there has been a dip in interest in cricket in oz since oz has been going so bad - with non ashes crowds being hopeless and traditional grounds like the waca struggling to stay afloat. With warner on the front of every paper, bailey the most in form basher in the world - let's pump up cricket again before we have to suffer through the soccer world cup. Sure our goal is 5-0 - warner and bails have been seeing it like a football anyway and quite frankly, their recipe to success in the ashes has been tonking it everywhere (ok warner now has an incredible eye in defense). The way south Africa are struggling to bowl out India on a better pitch for seamers than anything australia will produce, the more cricket we can get into the boys the better. Unlike england, you will never hear Australians complain about the fact "we win so much it makes us tired, therefore should be given less winning opportunities". As Dr warner said, that is weak.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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