Test opener Khawaja to miss Bulls' Shield clash

Queensland captain rotated out of Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria as part of workload management plans

Usman Khawaja has been rested for Queensland's next Marsh Sheffield Shield fixture as Cricket Australia's workload management spreads to include batters ahead of the international summer.

The Bulls' captain is fit and healthy, but on Saturday he will watch his side's clash with Victoria in Mackay from his home in Brisbane.

Queensland still have four Shield games before the first Test of the summer against Pakistan, beginning in Perth on December 14.

Australia, currently competing in the 50-over World Cup in India, will play a five-game T20 series against the hosts, before returning home for a five-Test summer.

They will also play two Tests in New Zealand in February and March, and contest three T20 internationals prior to the red-ball series.

Australian squad members will be subject to load management throughout the domestic season on a case-by-case basis.

Managing bowlers' workloads has become a commonplace giving the amount of cricket on the international and domestic calendars, but Australian captain Pat Cummins dismissed the notion of rotation in India and hopeful his battery of quicks will play every World Cup game if fit.

Fringe Test quick Scott Boland was rested for Victoria's Marsh One-Day Cup loss to Western Australia last Saturday after bowling 36 overs in the preceding Shield match and has also been rested for the Shield clash against Queensland, but will play in the Marsh Cup fixture against the Bulls that follows. 

The 36-year-old Khawaja has a relatively light schedule compared with some of his Test teammates who frequent the world T20 circuit, but he will play for the Brisbane Heat in the KFC BBL.

Queensland pair break record in match-winning stand

His omission for Queensland's second Shield fixture of the summer – a decision understood to be of mutual agreement between Khawaja and CA – is a nod to how crowded the modern-day cricketer's calendar has become.

"Ideally you want your captain and best player to be there for every game, but we all know that, barring injury, he will be one of the first bats picked for the Pakistan series, so we understand the rationale behind the decision-making process,'' Queensland coach Wade Seccombe said.

"Uzzie is philosophical about it.

"He'd be happy to play, but he will also benefit from a more measured build-up ahead of another big international schedule for Australia.

"He's hitting them well, so we shouldn't be too concerned on that front."

In-form Bulls wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson will captain in Khawaja's absence, while Ben McDermott is poised to play his first Shield game for his home state since his debut in 2014 after his off-season move from Tasmania.

Victoria have welcomed back Test opening bat contender Marcus Harris following his parental leave for the birth of his first child, with Will Pucovski also sidelined as Victoria takes a careful approach to his return to first-class cricket. 

Queensland squad: Jimmy Peirson (c), Joe Burns, Jack Clayton, Liam Guthrie, Matthew Kuhnemann, Ben McDermott, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Gurinder Sandhu, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth


Victoria squad: Will Sutherland (c), Travis Dean, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Campbell Kellaway, Cameron McClure, Jon Merlo, Todd Murphy, Fergus O’Neill, Mitch Perry, Matthew Short.

Sheffield Shield 2023-24 standings

Matches played
No results
Batting Bonus
Bowling Bonus
Total points
1 Western Australia Men Western Australia Men WA 10 5 2 3 0 0 5.53 9.4 47.93
2 Tasmanian Tigers Men Tasmanian Tigers Men TAS 10 5 2 3 0 0 6.06 8.3 47.36
3 NSW Men NSW Men NSW 10 4 3 3 0 0 6.31 9 42.31
4 Victoria Men Victoria Men VIC 10 4 4 2 0 0 4.74 8.2 38.94
5 South Australia Men South Australia Men SA 10 3 6 1 0 0 5.19 9.3 33.49
6 Queensland Bulls Queensland Bulls QLD 10 2 6 2 0 0 3.54 8.3 25.84

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

D: Drawn

N/R: No results

Ded.: Deductions

Bat: Batting Bonus

Bowl: Bowling Bonus

PTS: Total points