Fast bowler Pat Cummins is expected to use an Australia A series in August to make his return from a long lay-off due to a stress fracture of the back. Cummins has been named in a 24-man squad for Australia A's winter games in Queensland, while there were also call-ups for young batsmen Matt Renshaw, Sam Heazlett, Alex Ross, Travis Dean, Kurtis Patterson and Jake Lehmann, the son of national coach Darren Lehmann.
Australia A will play a pair of four-day games against South Africa A in Brisbane and Townsville from July 30 to August 9, before a quadrangular one-day series featuring the same two teams, the National Performance Squad, and a fourth international side yet to be confirmed. The one-dayers will be play in Townsville and Mackay, before two more four-day games in September.
Cummins is expected to be used in the one-day games, if he continues to recover from the back stress fracture that was diagnosed last September and ruled him out of yet another home summer. Cummins was part of the World Cup-winning squad early last year and remains a Cricket Australia-contracted player, despite injuries having prevented him from playing Sheffield Shield cricket for more than five years.
"Pat is tracking along nicely in his recovery from his long term injury and we are hopeful he will be available for the one-day matches in this series," national selector Rod Marsh said. "However, we will be guided by medical staff on his return."
The list of bowlers in the squad also includes Joe Mennie and Daniel Worrall, the South Australia pair who topped the Sheffield Shield wicket tally last summer, as well as Chris Tremain, and spinner Mitchell Swepson.
Australia A squad Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, Pat Cummins, Travis Dean, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Sam Heazlett, Moises Henriques, Jake Lehmann, Chris Lynn, Joe Mennie, Kurtis Patterson, Joel Paris, Matt Renshaw, Kane Richardson, Alex Ross, Chadd Sayers, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Daniel Worrall, Sam Whiteman.
Four-day matches
July 30-August 2: Australia A v South Africa A, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
August 6-9: Australia A v South Africa A, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville
September 8-11: Australia A v TBC, Allan Border Field
September 15-18: Australia A v TBC, Allan Border Field
One-day series
August 13: South Africa A v NPS, Townsville
August 14: Australia A v TBC, Townsville
August 16: Australia A v NPS, Townsville
August 17: South Africa A v TBC, Townsville
August 20: Australia A v South Africa A, Townsville
August 21: TBC v NPS, Townsville
August 24: NPS v Australia A, Harrup Park, Mackay
August 25: South Africa A v TBC, Mackay
August 27: NPS v TBC, Mackay
August 28: Australia A v South Africa A, Mackay
August 30: Australia A v TBC, Mackay
August 31: South Africa A v NPS, Mackay
September 3: Final 3 v 4, Mackay
September 4: Final 1 v 2, Mackay