Australia Tour of England - Men's
Richardson to begin comeback in Darwin
WA quick will be a long way from Australia's tour of the UK when he makes his return from a shoulder injury on Saturday
Sam Ferris in Southampton
23 July 2019, 09:00 AM AEST
Exciting speedster Jhye Richardson is set to make his cricket comeback this weekend in Darwin to keep his slim hopes of playing in the Ashes alive.
Richardson will line up for Nightcliff CC in their 50-over Premier Grade clash with Southern Districts this Saturday at Nightcliff Oval in north-west Darwin.
The right-armer is understood to be bowling with good pace and swing after dislocating his bowling shoulder playing in the UAE in March, which dashed his World Cup dreams and possibly his hopes of playing in this winter's Ashes in England.
While Richardson is next to no chance of playing in the early stages of the Ashes series, which starts in nine days at Edgbaston, the wiry quick could make an appearance at the back end of the campaign.
Australia's squad could possibly use a fresh fast bowler for the three-day tour match between the third and fourth Tests from August 29-31 in Derby with only five specialist quicks expected to be selected for the tour.
But if Australia's battery of fast bowlers stays fit and firing, there would unlikely be any need to rush the Western Australian back into the cauldron of Test cricket.
It's been four months since Richardson dislocated his right bowling shoulder diving in the field in Australia's second one-day international against Pakistan in Sharjah.
In the wake of the injury, scans revealed a "best case scenario" for the youngster, who did not require surgery and was hopeful of playing in the World Cup and subsequent Ashes campaign.
He was initially named in Australia's 15-player World Cup squad but was ruled out of the tournament in the week of the team's departure to Europe, replaced by South Australia's Kane Richardson.
Richardson then targeted Australia A's tour of England for his return to top-flight cricket but was bowling only a handful of overs off a shortened run-up in Brisbane on the eve of the one-day squad flying to the UK.
Cricket Australia High Performance Coach and former Test quick Ryan Harris spoke to Richardson at the National Cricket Centre six weeks ago and said the mental side of his comeback will be the biggest hurdle.
"I only had minor dramas with my shoulder when I was playing, I never had dislocation or reconstruction," Harris told cricket.com.au in June.
"For me, it's a mental thing for him to be able to get that belief that his shoulder won't re-injure and get the confidence in that.
"We had a good chat and he feels better and better by the session.
"He's taking it slow. I hope he is fit for that (A) tour and if he's not we don't want to rush him."
Richardson's injury came after a stellar 2018-19 season in all formats for Australia, establishing himself in the one-day team, making his Test debut at the Gabba and playing a starring role in Australia's historic T20I series win in India.
Australia A tour of the UK
Get live scores and all the latest news from Australia A's tour of the UK on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Mitch Marsh (vc), D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Sean Abbott, Andrew Tye
Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain
July 13-16: Australian XI v England Lions, Canterbury
July 23-26: Australia v Australia A, Hampshire