Former Australia captain Michael Clarke will coach the Prime Minister’s XI squad that will tackle Sri Lanka in T20 match in Canberra.
Clarke will mentor a side led by captain Adam Voges that includes veteran George Bailey, former Test opener Joe Burns, Victoria paceman James Pattinson and a host of the brightest young talent in the country.
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The annual PM’s XI fixture will be Clarke’s first elite coaching opportunity since he retired from international cricket at the conclusion of the 2015 Ashes in the UK.
The 115-Test veteran has a side brimming with youth and experience for the one-off match at Manuka Oval on February 15.
"Adam Voges as captain will provide a wealth of experience, having played 20 Test matches and captained the Perth Scorchers to the recent KFC Big Bash League title, as will George Bailey and Joe Burns, who have represented Australia in ODI and Test cricket respectively this summer," said National Talent Manager and interim selector Greg Chappell.
"James Pattinson is working his way back from injury and he’s a player of significant interest to the NSP.
"This match is an opportunity to get him back into some competitive cricket.
"Daniel Worrall is also coming back from injury, and this is a chance for him to step up his preparation for the back-end of the season."
Exciting teenagers Will Pucovski, Arjun Nair and Jason Sangha will get golden opportunity to showcase their abilities against an international opponent.
"It’s part of the pick and stretch policy we have with our young players, to keep exposing them to more challenges at the highest level possible, to help them develop their skills," Chappell said.
"We believe that playing against a touring team and sharing the dressing room with some players that have represented their country is a great learning opportunity for these young players."
Following the clash in Canberra, Sri Lanka face Australia in Melbourne (Feb 17), Geelong (Feb 19) and Adelaide (Feb 22) in the three-match KFC T20 INTL series.
Clarke said he was looking forward to leading the PM's XI.
"The squad has a really good mix of experienced players and some exciting young talent," Clarke said.
"I played with and against quite a few players in the team during my career, including captain Adam Voges, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside him.
"Most importantly, this is a great opportunity for all the players in the side to perform against a strong international team.
"I think we’ll be really competitive against Sri Lanka, and I know we can play an exciting brand of cricket in front of what will hopefully be a big crowd in Canberra."
PM's XI squad: Adam Voges (c), George Bailey, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Arjun Nair, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Jason Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Henry Thornton, Daniel Worrall, Matthew Gikes (12th man)