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News

Pucovski finally set for first-class return

Right-hander has been named in Victoria's Sheffield Shield squad to face South Australia

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
04-Feb-2022
Will Pucovski ready return for Victoria  •  Getty Images

Will Pucovski ready return for Victoria  •  Getty Images

Will Pucovski is set to make his return to first-class cricket after being named in Victoria's Sheffield Shield squad to face South Australia at Adelaide Oval on February 9.
Pucovski has not played first-class cricket since his Test debut in Sydney in January 2021. He made 62 and 10 in that match but dislocated his shoulder in the field and required season-ending surgery.
He then suffered his tenth career concussion while batting in the nets in October as he prepared for his return at the start of the new season. His recovery took a lot longer than expected due to his history with concussion issues and he was unable to play any cricket prior to Christmas.
The 24-year-old finally returned to Victoria Premier Cricket for his club side Melbourne on January 7. He has played two 50-over matches and a T20 match for scores of 40, 8 and 32. Melbourne's most recent match against Carlton last Saturday was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Pucovski said prior to his return to club cricket that he wanted to push for a spot on the upcoming Test tour of Pakistan. But Victoria's clash with South Australia is the only match Australia's Test squad members will play prior to leaving for the subcontinent.
Victoria have four Shield matches and four 50-over Marsh Cup games scheduled to finish the domestic season after the revised fixtures were released on Friday, as well as possibly two finals if they qualify.
It would appear more likely that Australia's selectors will let Pucovski remain in Australia to play as much cricket as possible given he has missed the last 12 months.
Scott Boland and Marcus Harris have both been named in Victoria's squad but James Pattinson is missing due a minor niggle he picked up in the BBL. Fast bowler Henry Thornton, who starred for Adelaide Strikers at the end of the BBL after coming in as a replacement player, is in line for his Sheffield Shield debut after being named in Victoria's squad.
Victoria squad: Peter Handscomb (capt), Scott Boland, Travis Dean, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, Nic Maddinson, Jono Merlo, Todd Murphy, Mitch Perry, Will Pucovski, Matt Short, Will Sutherland, Henry Thornton

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo