Australia news December 18, 2013

Warner, Smith, Bailey released to BBL

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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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 .

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CodandChips on December 19, 2013, 9:20 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • bren19 on December 18, 2013, 22:15 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CodandChips on December 19, 2013, 9:20 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • bren19 on December 18, 2013, 22:15 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • popcorn on December 18, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    I do not think our Test Cricketers should play T20 cricket. Are the Administrators so dumb that they do not know that Test Cricket is all about Skill, Technique, Endurance,Patience,whereas T20 Cricket is a Sloggers game? Are CA ONLY concerned about money?. Why can't CA find a slot for T20 AFTER January 7? Soon after the ODIs against England, our Team is going to play Test Cricket in South Africa.A T20 game of 20 overs a side is not good preparation for a 5 day game.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on December 18, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    NO big deal geez. Warner, Smith and Bailey all live in the cities in which their games will be held, so there is no extra travel. They'll probably have a light training session in the arvo, and then play a 3hr t20 game. Usually don't care to much about bbl but that Sydney Derbyshire game looks appealing, dilshan, warner opening batting and seeing how the New channel 10 commentary team goes

  • izzidole on December 18, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    Now that Australia has already won the ashes any injuries to Warner , Smith or Bailey would only be a blessing in disguise to give another player a chance to play in the the current ashes series. Due to the success of this current side the door has virtually shut on players like Hughes, Dooley, Bollinger, Coulter Nile etc to come into the side other than due to injury. I reckon it would be a tremendous boost to the confidence of the team if a 5 nil series whitewash of England was achieved without any changes to the team in all five tests. Hope the BBL is not going to spoil the momentum of the players and the mood of the spectators from serious test cricket.

  • DSPT on December 18, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    Bailey should be working on his test batting to try and establish his spot in the team, therefor not playing in the BBL. Warner and Smith are well entrenched in the test team so I cannot see any harm in them having a game. Interesting to see that CA are happy to release players for the BBL yet won't release players like Rogers, Johnson etc in the warm up shield games. I guess its one luxury of winning the ashes in 3 games.

  • on December 18, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    I don't know about fans only wanting to see India South Africa, England and Australia doing battle, I love watching the West Indians play more than most other teams and have a soft spot for the improving Kiwis, The Indians don't appeal at all as they are a basket case outside the subcontinent and don't have any decent fast bowlers.

  • Ms.Cricket on December 18, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    I think Howard should rest the stars from the Melbourne and Sydney Tests to protect them from getting injured and missing the BBL ;)

  • cheesemethod on December 18, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Pras.... Injury paranoia? Thats the mentality that helped fuel australias downhill slump - protecting players from what they do best. Am i the only person that enjoys all three formats? Let the stars play, fill the grounds with massive crowds and cricket will be more popular than ever

  • itzarka on December 18, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    but if anyone of them gets injured, then what? from one point, its good that few t20s will get them oxygen. but from another point of view, if anyone among them gets injured that will be harmful for the remaining two tests...

  • kensohatter on December 18, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    I dont understand how the cricket administrators actually believe that 20/20 is any good for the game of cricket... Maybe its the fact our cricket administrators experience is based in rugby union or perhaps all they see are current dollar signs and not long term damage to the game. Cricket is a contest between bat and ball. 20/20 is a game designed for batsmen where the contest is uneven and therefore will get boring once the current crop of youngesters grow up and dont easily get excited by a six. Incase nobody has noticed MLB (major league baseball) is investing plenty of money in their league in Australia cause they know full well that if all they have to compete with is 20/20 they will win because their 3hr game stays true to their game and will in the long term destroy cricket. The only way cricket wins is to focus on tests and one dayers

  • Meety on December 18, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Not a good look as far as I am concerned. Hopefully neither Bailey, Warner or Smith get out to swishes outside of off stump in the Boxing Day Test.

    @Jagger on (December 18, 2013, 6:16 GMT) "They will always think they are better than us and we will always know we are better than them" - impossible!!!!! No way can any nation other than Oz claim to be the best. All the facts point to Oz being the greatest cricket nation ever - count the ODI World Cups & test victories buddy!

  • VivGilchrist on December 18, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Good news for the boys.... they're probably really looking forward to finally getting some competitive cricket.

  • Jagger on December 18, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    @ JoshFromJamRock - Whatever the other Test-playing nations want to do is up to them.

    In regards to Australia and England, for as long as the grass grows and there is oxygen to breath, Australia and England will do battle for The Ashes. They will always think they are better than us and we will always know we are better than them.

  • Buckers97 on December 18, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Release Shane Watson for the Heat!!! Up the HEAT!!! (Brisbane- not Miami)

  • Insult_2_Injury on December 18, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Are the players supposed to be appreciative that they're allowed to play for Aussie T20 franchises that they're contracted to and sanctioned by CA anyway. More forelock tugging to bureaucrats. Professional cricketers play cricket. If they accept millions to play in India, surely it follows that they play in the Aussie T20 and promote the game at home.

  • pat_one_back on December 18, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    I'm no T20 fan, it's test cricket all the way for me thanks but like many Aussies I've just worked through 3 tests and the ashes have been decided while I've been at work. For many of us holidays start later this week, what are we to do until Boxing Day??? Is it so bad that a handful of short form cross-overs will entertain us, expending less effort in the process than a decent fielding drill & net session??? Anyway Today's my first day of leave and I'm grateful for this thoughtful & harmless decision, it's hardly Johnson Harris & Clarkie at risk of injury and it's one round to fill the cricket void during the holidays, relax & enjoy, my condolences to those working through.

  • Shaggy076 on December 18, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Paul Connell; I suggest you actually read the article, none of these players will miss the Melbourne test. If I was to have a guess now, AUstralia will go into boxing day unchanged.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 18, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    Guys and gals, it is just for 1 round of T20, one game and they will certainly be back for the Boxing Day test. England have a tour game over several days so I don't see the fuss? It's good for the to get some good vibes off their state team mates and play some cricket.

  • PrasPunter on December 18, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    Now what if one of Warner/Smith/Bailey gets injured ? Wouldn't that throw a spanner in our efforts to go 5-zip ?

  • JoshFromJamRock on December 18, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    I don't know about you guys but i feel Test Cricket will only survive if the Top 4 teams (England, Australia, India and South Africa) play each other more often. Seeing the likes of Pietersen, Anderson, Broad, Warner, Watson, Johnson, Dhawan, Kohli, Dhoni, Alma, AB, Kallis and Steyn in full flow is what we Tests-lovers really want to see. Having more 3 or 4 Test matches per series would be ideal with matches starting on Thursday and ending on Monday if they reach the distance.

    As for ODI and more so T20Is, West Indies, Pakistan, South Africa and Australia should have more action between them. Gayle, Pollard, Narine, AB, Steyn, Ajmal, Afridi, Watson and Warner are the main international superstars who can 1/2 full a stadium by their presence alone. This one-off match thing needs to stop. The 3 Tests - 3 T20I - 3 ODI format is the way to go with shorter Tests and ODI series when mismatches occur.

  • on December 18, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    since Australia is fielding a 'b' team for the test in melbourne, do I get a discount?

  • Shaggy076 on December 18, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    I'm a bigger fan of test cricket than BBL but cant see any issue with this. They all get a couple of days off before getting to Melbourne pre-Christmas I cant see this hindering there boxing day preparation and striking while the iron is hot in bringing new fans to the game, no better time to attact fans to cricket than after an Ashes victory.

  • Andre117 on December 18, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    I think the players, especially Warner are not seeing the big picture. Surely 5-0 will give more points towards their ranking than 3-2 or 3-1? Even one loss to England will knock their confidence before the big test (pun not intended) against South Africa. The Aussies want the #1 ranking so one would think all their players would put the tests before everything else. I am a Protea fan and I want a strong, confident and in form Aussie team to come to South Africa to give us a good show.

  • warnerbasher on December 18, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Just note. The decline of Australian cricket commenced on 18 December 2013 with this decision. Is it just me or does everyone feel like scratching their heads everytime Pat Howards opens his mouth. "Bobagorof" has summed it up brilliantly. Pretty soon the Boxing Day test will be the warmup match for the BBL battles that night

  • on December 18, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    @satishchandar - how can they release the players in the middle of a test series? Because we've won the Ashes in straight sets. Now let the boys go and have some fun, and further entertain the crowds!

  • xtrafalgarx on December 18, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    There is a long break between the tests and BBL does bring a lot of kids into cricket, the boys have done their job and got the ashes back anyway so a few overs of hit and giggle shouldn't hurt. Would look bad if we were losing though...

  • on December 18, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    the big bash league needs to be moved to either the end our the beginning of the season

    the ashes aren't over and we can't have players playing domestic T20 till it is.

  • alstar2281 on December 18, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    What a joke, T20 wins out again :(

  • bobagorof on December 18, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    So basically, 'Although we've had specific training to help our Test squad win matches and we are keen to maintain that where possible, it's clearly not possible. We figure our most successful batsmen don't really need to bat for days so we'll get them to start trying to smash everything. We only need one or two guys in order to beat this mob anyway, right?'

  • SoyQuearns on December 18, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    Awesome news - what is clear about BBL (like it or lump it) is that it is here to stay and is vital to cricket in general due to the amount of money it generates.

    Allowing top-shelf players like Warner, Bailey and Smith to play will strengthen the quality of players on display, increase the quality in performances and thus give the fans (especially those new to cricket due to t20) a higher quality product.

    Imagine our surprise as Aus fans that this venture is even possible! How wonderfully well Australia has done, I am truly proud of them.

    Cricinfo forums were alight with smug English fans cheering on their mediocre team for far too long. Now that is over with it is great to see Aus fans cheering the side on. We must learn to take the good with the bad. The release of these players is good, certainly, but let's ensure we support them for the tougher opponents like South Africa and India.

    For the meantime - bring on the BBL!

  • satishchandar on December 18, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    I don't know how the teams do it but had it been IPL, fans would have termed it as disrespect to test format. The same happened a couple of years back when some team toured Australia. How can they release players in middle just to play T20 domestic games?

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  • satishchandar on December 18, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    I don't know how the teams do it but had it been IPL, fans would have termed it as disrespect to test format. The same happened a couple of years back when some team toured Australia. How can they release players in middle just to play T20 domestic games?

  • SoyQuearns on December 18, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    Awesome news - what is clear about BBL (like it or lump it) is that it is here to stay and is vital to cricket in general due to the amount of money it generates.

    Allowing top-shelf players like Warner, Bailey and Smith to play will strengthen the quality of players on display, increase the quality in performances and thus give the fans (especially those new to cricket due to t20) a higher quality product.

    Imagine our surprise as Aus fans that this venture is even possible! How wonderfully well Australia has done, I am truly proud of them.

    Cricinfo forums were alight with smug English fans cheering on their mediocre team for far too long. Now that is over with it is great to see Aus fans cheering the side on. We must learn to take the good with the bad. The release of these players is good, certainly, but let's ensure we support them for the tougher opponents like South Africa and India.

    For the meantime - bring on the BBL!

  • bobagorof on December 18, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    So basically, 'Although we've had specific training to help our Test squad win matches and we are keen to maintain that where possible, it's clearly not possible. We figure our most successful batsmen don't really need to bat for days so we'll get them to start trying to smash everything. We only need one or two guys in order to beat this mob anyway, right?'

  • alstar2281 on December 18, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    What a joke, T20 wins out again :(

  • on December 18, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    the big bash league needs to be moved to either the end our the beginning of the season

    the ashes aren't over and we can't have players playing domestic T20 till it is.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 18, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    There is a long break between the tests and BBL does bring a lot of kids into cricket, the boys have done their job and got the ashes back anyway so a few overs of hit and giggle shouldn't hurt. Would look bad if we were losing though...

  • on December 18, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    @satishchandar - how can they release the players in the middle of a test series? Because we've won the Ashes in straight sets. Now let the boys go and have some fun, and further entertain the crowds!

  • warnerbasher on December 18, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Just note. The decline of Australian cricket commenced on 18 December 2013 with this decision. Is it just me or does everyone feel like scratching their heads everytime Pat Howards opens his mouth. "Bobagorof" has summed it up brilliantly. Pretty soon the Boxing Day test will be the warmup match for the BBL battles that night

  • Andre117 on December 18, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    I think the players, especially Warner are not seeing the big picture. Surely 5-0 will give more points towards their ranking than 3-2 or 3-1? Even one loss to England will knock their confidence before the big test (pun not intended) against South Africa. The Aussies want the #1 ranking so one would think all their players would put the tests before everything else. I am a Protea fan and I want a strong, confident and in form Aussie team to come to South Africa to give us a good show.

  • Shaggy076 on December 18, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    I'm a bigger fan of test cricket than BBL but cant see any issue with this. They all get a couple of days off before getting to Melbourne pre-Christmas I cant see this hindering there boxing day preparation and striking while the iron is hot in bringing new fans to the game, no better time to attact fans to cricket than after an Ashes victory.