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Stanlake pulled from County for Aussie duty

Queensland quick on the fast track as he's earmarked for Australia A tour of India this winter

Australia fast bowler Billy Stanlake has been withdrawn from his stint in county cricket with Yorkshire to focus on national commitments.

Stanlake is riding high after a breakout summer in the T20 format and is set to be a key figure in Australia's ODI and T20 matches in England and Zimbabwe in June and July.

And – presuming the 23-year-old, 204cm fast bowler capable of hitting 150kph gets through those tours without issue – could also be in the mix for a planned Australia A tour of India that could prove to be pivotal for the short-term future of Australian cricket.

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Stanlake was ruled out of the Indian Premier League after he fractured the pinky finger on his right hand in the Sunrisers Hyderabad's match against Chennai in mid-April. He returned to the nets at the Bupa National Cricket Centre last Friday.

He had been scheduled to play 12 T20 matches with the Yorkshire Vikings in the English domestic T20 competition this winter, with Yorkshire's final group match of the tournament on August 17. He had been expected to miss the first two matches of the Yorkshire season while in Zimbabwe for a T20 tri-series against the hosts and Pakistan.

If the planned Australia A tour to India is confirmed, Stanlake would only have about a fortnight's rest with a series of limited-overs matches and two four-day games to be played in India.

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New Australia head coach Justin Langer indicated a "pretty strong" squad would travel to India, with a number of positions in the Test side up for grabs ahead of a two-Test series against Pakistan before the home summer.

"There's an Australia A tour to India where there's a couple of four-day games," Langer said on SEN radio today.

"I imagine we might leave our selection for Pakistan (in) the UAE quite late, use that build-up and use that match practice.

"I'd suggest it might be a pretty strong Australia A team going to India."

The Australia A tour could also have impacts for the likes of Matthew Renshaw (Somerset), Shaun Marsh (Glamorgan), Travis Head (Worcestershire) and Hilton Cartwright (Middlesex).

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A number of Australians have deals to play in England's domestic T20 competition, including Aaron Finch (Surrey), Andrew Tye (Gloucestershire), Marcus Stoinis (Kent), James Faulkner (Lancashire) and Ashton Agar (Middlesex).

Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: "Cricket Australia got in touch on Friday and have decided on a different strategy for Billy Stanlake.

"Now the new Australia coach is in place, they want him to play some different cricket to T20 during the period he was due to be with us. Consequently, they've pulled him out of our deal, which is obviously very disappointing for us.

"We're not the only county, it would appear, who has been affected by this."

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Stanlake has not played first-class cricket since November 2015 but is targeting a return to the red-ball arena. That could possibly come as soon as the Australia A tour, but is more likely to come with defending Sheffield Shield champions Queensland.

"I want to play all three forms of the game," the 23-year-old told cricket.com.au. "I still feel like red-ball is probably my best format, so I'm itching to get back out there.

"Hopefully this year is the year I can get a few games in.

"I don't want to put a ceiling on (how fast I can get), and I don't want to just be happy with where I am now – I've still got a few years for my body to mature and strengthen," Stanlake added.

"So I don't see why I can't get faster. That's the challenge.

"I know I've got a big year of hopefully playing a lot of games, and getting another year older is going to play a factor in that."

ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye

T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth

Qantas Tour of England

June 7: Warm-up v Sussex, Hove (D/N)

June 9: Warm-up v Middlesex, Lord's

June 13: First ODI, The Oval (D/N)

June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff

June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)

June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)

June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford

June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)

Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe

Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia

Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe

Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia

Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe

Sunday, July 8: Final