Jhye Richardson backed to use contract loss as motivation in Sri Lanka

WA coach Adam Voges also praised the development of allrounder Aaron Hardie who will tour with Australia A

Alex Malcolm
Jhye Richardson is set to return for the T20I series in Sri Lanka  •  Getty Images

Jhye Richardson is set to return for the T20I series in Sri Lanka  •  Getty Images

Australia quick Jhye Richardson is fully fit as he heads to Sri Lanka and is raring to bounce back from the disappointment of losing his Cricket Australia contract, according to his Western Australia coach Adam Voges.
Richardson was arguably the unluckiest player to lose his Cricket Australia contract for the coming 12 months having taken five wickets in his last Test match innings against England in Adelaide, and having played in Australia's last home T20I series against Sri Lanka.
But an injury-interrupted summer that featured calf and shin issues prior to Christmas, with the latter ruling him out of the Boxing Test, and a serious hamstring injury which saw him miss the Sheffield Shield final, as well as the astonishing rise of Scott Boland in his absence, meant he was squeezed out of CA's top 20 ranked players on the contract list.
Prior to his hamstring injury, he was also left out of the Pakistan tour as his workload continued to be monitored due to his recent injury history.
Richardson is in the T20I squad only for Sri Lanka and could play a part with Pat Cummins resting, although Australia may play two spinners among their four specialist bowlers if conditions suit. He has not been named in the ODI or Test squads but is in the Australia A group that is set to play two 50-over games and two four-day games in Sri Lanka.
Voges has spent the last few weeks in Perth helping Richardson and WA's other Sri Lanka tourists prepare for the limited-overs, Test and A series that begin next week. The WA and Perth Scorchers coach believes Richardson will be stung into action after a frustrating summer.
"He's going really well," Voges told ESPNcricinfo. "He was clearly disappointed to miss out on his CA contract. But I think that'll be a very temporary thing.
"I think once we get a fully fit Jhye Richardson up and about, we saw what he did in the four Shield games that he played for us last season. He had a huge impact. He took five wickets in the last Test match that he played for Australia so I think he'll fight his way back into the Australian teams pretty quickly.
"It's great that he's part of the white-ball part of the Sri Lankan series and then the A series...I know that he is really disappointed about missing out but hopefully he'll use that as a fairly big motivator to have a big 12 months coming up."
Meanwhile, Voges was full of praise for 23-year-old Western Australian allrounder Aaron Hardie who is set to go on his first overseas tour with the Australia A team.
Hardie has only played 10 first-class games but has already made a huge impression, scoring two centuries and bagging three four-wicket hauls. He had an extraordinary Sheffield Shield final where he opened the bowling and took 3 for 54, before making a brilliant 174 not out in the second innings to help secure a draw that handed WA a drought-breaking title.
"We think really highly of Aaron," Voges said. "We think he's a really talented young player who has performed well in the short exposure he's had to first-class cricket.
"I was really pleased to see him do well in the Shield final. He had a frustrating season last year. He had elbow surgery right on the eve of the season starting which kept him out of bowling until right at the back end of the Big Bash. For him now, it's just about a bit of consistency and continuity and being able to play games.
"As a young allrounder, the game demands a lot from you. There'll probably be a few more of those niggles along the way but hopefully, he now can really start to put together a consistent 12 months of cricket and who knows where that'll take him.
"I think it's great reward for him to be picked in the A squad on the back of what he did at the back end of the season. The fact that we can open the bowling with him and he's scoring 170 batting at seven, he's a pretty handy addition."

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo