McKay replaces injured Starc for Australia A
Clint McKay has been added to the Australia A team to take on England in Hobart, after the young left-armer Mitchell Starc was ruled out with a side strain. Starc picked up the injury bowling for New South Wales in their Sheffield Shield match against Victoria last week, but the selectors were waiting to assess the fitness of Ryan Harris before naming a replacement.
Harris has been picked in the 17-man squad for the first Ashes Test, but he will be rested this week after suffering a swollen knee following his first-class comeback for Queensland. Harris had surgery on the knee during the off-season, and Cricket Australia decided on a cautious approach for a man who remains part of their Ashes plans.
Starc, 20, had a starring role alongside McKay in Australia's one-day win over Sri Lanka in Brisbane earlier this month, but has now been ruled out for at least four weeks. The Australia A attack will now feature McKay, alongside fellow fast men Peter George and Mark Cameron, and the spinning allrounders Steve O'Keefe and Steven Smith.
"Mitchell's departure from the squad provides Clint with another opportunity to press his claims," the chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, said. "He also bowled well in the third match of the Commonwealth Bank Series against Sri Lanka recently and has been a regular member around Australia's limited overs squads for some time now and know he will be looking forward to this challenge against England."
Australia A also lost Shaun Marsh to a back injury, and he was replaced by the Tasmania opening batsman Ed Cowan. The four-day match, which begins at Bellerive Oval on Wednesday, is England's last warm-up before the Ashes and they have sent their four strike bowlers to Brisbane early, to prepare for next week's first Test.
Australia A Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Cameron White (capt), Callum Ferguson, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, Steve O'Keefe, Clint McKay, Mark Cameron, Peter George.