Paine included in Australia A squad
Wicketkeeper batsman Tim Paine, who has been away from competitive cricket since July 2011 due to a finger injury, has been included in the Australia A squad for the tour of England in July. Paine, widely regarded as Brad Haddin's successor, has undergone extensive bone-graft surgery on his right index finger and John Inverarity, chairman of selection panel, said that the selectors were keen to accelerate Paine's return to form. "Tim was impressive when he represented Australia in the various formats and he is recovering well from his injury," Inverarity said.
Inverarity said the A squad had been selected on the basis of good performances in the domestic season, and also aimed at giving the upcoming young talent exposure to English conditions. Batsman George Bailey, bowlers Patrick Cummins, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and allrounder Steve Smith, who are part of the ODI squad, have also been named in the A team.
"The second (exposure to English conditions) is a focus on the Ashes tour of 2013 and familiarising a number of our less experienced international players and back-up players with English conditions," he said.
South Australia batsman Michael Klinger, who is in England with county side Worcestershire, has been included in the squad as an opener along with Ed Cowan. Mitchell Starc, who is contracted to represent Yorkshire, has also been included.
Inverarity said that the selection of the A squad had been difficult to finalise due to a busy schedule ahead and the need to manage player workloads.
"There is an ICC World Twenty20 preparation camp in Australia in August. Those on the Australia A tour who are selected for the ICC World Twenty20 will have to leave the A tour after one or two of the scheduled four games. Hence there will be a need for replacements and a degree of flexibility."