Gillette ODI Series 2018

Irony not lost on White after recall

A critic of national selection in the past, Cameron White is now preparing for an international return after three years away from ODI cricket

Martin Smith, at the MCG

11 January 2018, 07:55 PM

Irony not lost on White after Australian recall

A stunned Cameron White has conceded there's a touch of irony in his shock recall to international cricket that has suddenly put him in contention to be a key part of Australia's World Cup defence next year.

White has been the most consistent 50-over batsman in Australian domestic cricket over the past few years but has been unable to add to his 88 ODIs, the last of which came almost three years ago.

The veteran has been a critic of national selection in the past, notably 12 months ago when he claimed the Australian one-day side was at times being treated as a "development team", comments that were publicly dismissed at the time by selection chairman Trevor Hohns.

On Thursday morning, it was Hohns who phoned with news of a shock international lifeline for White, who had been preparing for Friday night's KFC BBL Melbourne derby.

White blasts career-best innings

And the 34-year-old looked every bit the international rookie when he faced the media on Thursday afternoon, wearing his Victorian Bushrangers training shorts along with a recently issued Cricket Australia polo shirt and cap.

"All I know so far is I've walked into the team hotel, grabbed a t-shirt and a cap and I'm speaking to you guys," he said.

"I was very surprised this morning when Trevor Hohns rang me, but obviously I'm really looking forward to the opportunity and getting in amongst it.

"In the back of my mind I probably never gave up all hope. It's something I've always wanted to do, is get back and have another go at it."

White whacks fifty as Vics pile on the runs

White said he would look to clear the air with Hohns over the coming weeks after their public disagreement last year following the shock selection of Sam Heazlett for Australia's ODI tour of New Zealand before the left-hander had played a List A game for his state Queensland.

"Right now, it seems that the Australian team at some stages is a development team," White told RSN927 radio at the time.

"For me, playing for Australia isn't about getting a chance to develop. Domestic cricket is where that happens.

"(It seems) you can get picked to play for Australia in any format out of Big Bash, really. It doesn't make a lot of sense."

Hohns responded by saying White “needs to remember that he was a very young man when he was given his first opportunity in one-day cricket” and that the right-hander "has had plenty of opportunities in the past and it's probably fair to say performed OK without being earth shattering". Hohns’ remarks in turn earned a public rebuke from the Australian Cricketers Association, who claimed Hohns was “playing the man, not the ball” with his comments.

Fast forward 12 months and Hohns said White's BBL performances this season – the right-hander has scored 285 runs and been dismissed just twice - had been a key factor in his selection.

"Cameron’s in very good form, as his figures demonstrate. He’s playing very well," Hohns said on Thursday

"He’s one of the leading run-scorers in this season’s KFC BBL, he’s experienced, he’s a very smart cricketer and he’s a good fielder. He ticks all the boxes for what we need at this stage."

White lights up Hobart with unbeaten 79

When asked if it was ironic that White was now the man to earn one-day selection partly on the back of his BBL form, the Victorian smiled and replied: "Making a few runs in the Big Bash hasn't hurt. I guess maybe it's a little ironic.

"I'd like to think my one-day form for Victoria hasn't hurt my chances of getting this opportunity.

"I don't think I'd change what I said (last year). That was just me being honest about what I thought of the selection process at the time.

"Obviously Trevor disagreed with that at the time. We haven't spoken about it since but that's OK as well. Maybe during this period of time it might be a good chance to talk it over.

"That was just a comment on selection, which is an opinion based thing. I had a different opinion like many other people do as well."

Cameron continues his white-hot form

Having only just linked up with the Australian team when he spoke to the media on Thursday, White said he had "no idea" where he would bat in the five-match series against England, if indeed he would play at all.

White is one of seven top-order batsmen looking to claim one of six available batting positions in the side; captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner are certain selections while White will battle Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh for the other four spots.

Throwback to Cam White's Aussie highlights

Despite his success at domestic one-day level coming as an opener, White could slip into the vacant No.4 spot, which was shared unsuccessfully by six players in 15 matches last year after veteran George Bailey was dropped.

White says he has the ability and temperament to help end the batting collapses that have plagued Australia's one-day side in recent years, which could lead to a World Cup spot in 18 months' time.

"Hopefully one of my strengths is playing to the situation," he said. "I've probably done that pretty well in the Big Bash in the last four or five games.

"If that's the role they see me playing, I'd definitely be happy to do that.

"(The World Cup) is a long way away ... I don't really know what their plans are.

"All I know is I can concentrate on these five games ... hopefully I get an opportunity, I can bat as well as I can and stay in the team for as long as I can."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Gillette ODI Series v England

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21