Western Australia fast-bowler Jason Behrendorff has been named to play his first domestic match in nearly three months, but his return to Western Australia’s Sheffield Shield side spells bad news for Australia T20 paceman Andrew Tye.
Behrendorff hasn’t played for the Warriors since being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left fibula in November.
The towering left-arm quick was close to making a shock return for the Perth Scorchers for the KFC Big Bash League final, but fellow quick Jhye Richardson held on to his spot to help the side claim their third BBL title.
But Behrendorff returns to a 13-man WA squad to face Victoria in their Shield clash at the WACA on Saturday, with Tye and Ryan Duffield omitted.
Tye played his first Shield match for the Warriors in over a year in WA’s most recent Shield match, a comprehensive victory over Tasmania in Hobart.
But despite his call-up to Australia’s T20 squad that lost their three-match series 2-1 to Sri Lanka, Tye couldn’t hold onto his spot ahead of fast-bowlers Cameron Green, David Moody and Simon Mackin.
With WA's impressive battery of quicks, there was no place in the squad either for Richardson, while Nathan Coulter-Nile and Joel Paris continue to recover from injury.
Victoria, meanwhile, have named Seb Gotch to make his Sheffield Shield debut against the Warriors and is expected to take the gloves with Sam Harper still in hospital.
Harper was concussed during Victoria’s recent Shield over South Australia earlier, after being accidentally struck by Redbacks batsman Jake Lehmann.
The 20-year-old’s condition continues to be monitored but is improving, having made an appearance to support Victoria in their Futures League clash in Glenelg, and is expected to be released from hospital later this week.
While Victoria are the runaway leaders on the Shield ladder, the fifth-placed Warriors are part of a closely-bunched chasing pack, with only 4.01 points between them and second-placed NSW.
The Bushrangers will play WA again in Alice Springs in a fortnight before finishing their season with a trip to face Queensland.
Victoria squad: Cameron White (capt), Scott Boland, Dan Christian, Travis Dean, Aaron Finch, Seb Gotch, Marcus Harris, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Rob Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Tremain.
WA squad: Adam Voges (c), Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Michael Klinger, Simon Mackin, David Moody, D’Arcy Short, Ashton Turner, Jonathan Wells.