Aussies reveal T20 World Cup squad, Marsh to lead

Steve Smith, Jake Fraser-McGurk left out as Australia pick Cameron Green and Ashton Agar in 15-player group to travel to Caribbean

Australia have left Steve Smith out of a men's World Cup squad for the first time in a decade, while Jake Fraser-McGurk's late push for a spot on the plane to the Caribbean has also failed.

Ashton Agar and Cameron Green are the big winners from the 15-man squad named for June's T20 event, with the Western Australian pair picked despite both having been absent from international T20 cricket for nearly 18 months.

Having led the T20I side on an interim basis for the past 12 months, Mitch Marsh has been formally appointed captain of the veteran group gunning for their second men's T20 title.

Australia's T20 World Cup squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

"It's been an immense privilege to play for my country and now an even greater honour to lead the squad to a World Cup," said Marsh, whose selection as T20I captain was ratified by the Cricket Australia Board on Wednesday morning.

"We have had some strong success in recent times and I am hopeful that will continue in what looks like a wide-open tournament."

Smith has been a consistent presence for the Aussies' past five white-ball World Cup tilts, helping them win in 2015 and 2023 (ODI), and 2021 (T20).

The 34-year-old, who featured at the last edition of the T20 showpiece event held in the Caribbean in 2010, has not missed out on an Australian World Cup squad since 2014.

But he has gradually fallen out of favour in the shortest format over recent years – he played only one game at the 2022 T20 World Cup – as Australia have prioritised powerful players like Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Tim David in their middle order.

Selectors might have been more tempted to blood the uncapped Fraser-McGurk, who has taken the Indian Premier League by storm in recent weeks.

Not finding a spot for the 22-year-old, who has torched several of the world's best bowlers in the IPL in a sequence of extraordinary six-laden knocks, will be a divisive call.

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But there can be few misgivings with selectors backing in Travis Head, who has also blitzed the IPL, along with David Warner and Marsh (both integral in the 2021 T20 World Cup win) as their top-order options.

Selection chief George Bailey listed Smith, Matt Short, Jason Behrendorff, Aaron Hardie, Spencer Johnson and Xavier Bartlett as unfortunate omissions, while suggesting Fraser-McGurk "continues to impress and is developing rapidly".

"Being constrained to a squad of 15 for World Cups is always a challenge given the different scenarios and options we'd like to cover," Bailey continued.

"We will continue monitoring several players who have missed out on this preliminary squad and note that if we wish to change this squad, we have the option to do so over the coming weeks in accordance with ICC regulations."

Teams have until May 25 to change their squad, after which it requires ICC Event Technical Committee approval.

Mitch Marsh reveals Australia's T20 World Cup playing kit

Fraser-McGurk looks ultimately to have been squeezed out by Green, an allrounder that offers more versatility than the Victorian who has mainly batted in the top three during his short T20 career.

Green can bat at the top too, but has also been used through the middle during the ongoing IPL, while his bowling provides cover for pace-bowling allrounders Marsh and Marcus Stoinis.

Both Stoinis and Marsh have faced injury struggles during previous major white-ball tournaments that have limited their bowling.

Like Green, Agar has not played a T20I since the last World Cup in November 2022.

In case you don't know me: Ashton Agar

Australia's preference for playing just four specialist bowlers, plus the effectiveness of spin pair Adam Zampa and Maxwell, has sidelined Agar, who has also suffered numerous injury setbacks.

But an expectation of turning wickets in the Caribbean, especially as the various island venues host multiple games over a short time during the month-long tournament being co-hosted by the USA, has seen the orthodox tweaker earn a recall.

"It's great to have Ashton Agar back into the squad following a spate of unfortunate and untimely injuries," said Bailey.

"We believe Ashton can play a critical role in this tournament along with Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Cam Green and Mitch Marsh in complementing our front-line attack options."

In case you don't know me: Nathan Ellis

Death specialist Nathan Ellis won out over the likes of Johnson, Behrendorff and Sean Abbott as the final pace option behind the big three of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

The Aussies are taking two wicketkeepers in incumbent Matthew Wade and emerging dynamo Josh Inglis, who is also an option to play as a specialist batter.

The squad is expected to arrive in the Caribbean in late-May.

2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Australia's Group B fixtures

June 6: v Oman, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 10.30am AEST

June 9: v England, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 3am AEST

June 12: v Namibia, Sir Viv Richards Stadium, Antigua, 10.30am AEST

June 16: v Scotland, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 10.30am AEST

Super Eight fixtures TBC

27 June: Semi-final 1, Brian Lara Academy, Trinidad, 10.30am AEST

28 June: Semi-final 2, Providence Stadium, Guyana, 12.30am AEST

30 June: Final, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 12.30am AEST

All times/dates are AEST. For the full list of fixtures click here. All matches will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime