Western Australia allrounder Marcus Stoinis will miss the second round of the JLT Sheffield Shield due to personal reasons, while England will get an early look at his state teammate Nathan Coulter-Nile in the opening practice match of their Magellan Ashes tour this weekend.
WA announced on Wednesday that Stoinis is currently unavailable for selection so he can spend more time with his family. The allrounder's father Chris has battled Non-Hodgkin lymphoma for the past decade and his condition has worsened over the past 18 months.
Coulter-Nile will also miss WA's Shield match against NSW Blues in Sydney, starting on Saturday, and has instead been named in a WA XI that will play a two-day game against England in Perth, also starting on Saturday.
The injury-plagued quick bowled 15 overs in the opening Shield round last week, his first first-class game in more than two years, and it's been decided that he will miss the second round of the Shield competition before he returns in Round 3.
The right-armer has been replaced in WA's Shield squad by left-armer Jason Behrendorff, who himself missed the opening round of the Shield. Behrendorff bowled 27.2 overs in three JLT One-Day Cup matches either side of Australia's T20 tour of India, where he bowled five overs in a series that was hampered by rain and a wet outfield. He's also bowled 13 overs in brief appearances in Premier Cricket so far this summer.
Allrounder D'Arcy Short has replaced Stoinis in WA's Shield squad.
Speaking on Monday, Coulter-Nile had said he could see "absolutely no reason why" he wouldn't hold his spot in the Shield side given his light workload in the match against Tasmania.
"I'll be looking to go to NSW," he said. "I can't see any reason why I wouldn't go. That's the game I want to play and I think that's the game I should be playing.
"It'd be great if every four-day game I only bowled 15 overs in four days.
"Mitch (Marsh, WA's captain) looked after me really well. Obviously it was my first game back so I was a little bit nervous but I eased into it well and I'm ready to go.
"I don’t think there will be any more restrictions and I will probably get smashed at training because I didn’t get my overs in.
"I don’t know if there is a plan, but I am sure there will be discussions about what is best for WA and what is best for me."
But on Wednesday, WA announced that he would instead stay in Perth for the two-day fixture against the English.
"He hasn’t played back-to-back first class games since 2015," coach Justin Langer said.
"We are mindful of this and want to ensure his return to this level of cricket is managed appropriately to give him the best chance this season.
"He is coping pretty well in his return from injury but he is still building up to the levels required for consecutive first class matches.
"We believe the best plan is for him is to play the two-day tour match against England and then into round 3 of the Shield."
After a horror streak with injury, Coulter-Nile is currently enjoying a rare extended run of good health. He was Australia's best bowler on their recent limited-overs tour of India, where he played every match, and grabbed match figures of 4-41 in the win over Tasmania.
Given the possibility that pace reinforcements could be needed during a five-Test Ashes series this summer, the 30-year-old looms as one of the leading contenders to step into the Test side should injury strike one of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood or Pat Cummins.
The management of Australia's quicks will be an intriguing sub-plot to the early rounds of the Shield season; Hazlewood missed NSW's first match on the comeback trail from a side strain suffered in Bangladesh but has been named to take on WA, and the workloads of Starc and Cummins will also be carefully monitored ahead of the Gabba Test. As will those of Jackson Bird, Peter Siddle, Chadd Sayers and Behrendorff, who along with Coulter-Nile could be in line for a call-up if required.
Speaking to News Corp last month, Stoinis opened up on his father's health troubles, which led to him moving home to WA from Victoria in the off-season.
The 28-year-old is considered one of the leading contenders for the vacant No.6 spot for the Ashes, but said the pressure of selection was nothing compared to his family's struggles away from the game.
"In terms of the pressures of an upcoming Test series now, and selection, at the moment I don’t think any further ahead than right now," Stoinis said.
"Because I’ll leave here and go straight to the hospital. That’s just every day.
"It’s clichéd, but I think when you’re faced with tough conditions, you just get brought back down to earth and humbled and you can’t be anywhere else except the present."
WA Shield squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Turner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Simon Mackin, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Jhye Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Jonathan Wells.
WA XI Tour Match squad: Nathan Coulter-Nile (c), Will Bosisto, Jake Carder, Tim David, Kyle Gardiner, Aaron Hardie, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Hobson, Calum How, Lance Morris, Josh Philippe, Mark Turner.
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
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Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
Gillette T20 INTL Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21