Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Injured Smith, bereaved Starc to miss Shield clash
The NSW Blues will be without two internationals for their rematch with Victoria with the Australia paceman grieving death of his father after cancer battle, while Smith is battling an elbow complaint
24 February 2021, 02:04 PM AEST
NSW will be without star players Mitch Starc and Steve Smith for their next Marsh Sheffield Shield clash against Victoria, starting tomorrow.
Starc has withdrawn from the match after his father Paul passed away from cancer on Tuesday.
Starc left the Australian team biosecure bubble last December to be with his family following his father's diagnosis but returned to play all four Tests against India and the Blues' Shield match against the Vics last week at the SCG.
Starc's wife, Alyssa Healy, has also withdrawn from the NSW Breakers' WNCL clash with Tasmania in Hobart tomorrow. It is unclear if she will feature in the match against South Australia on Sunday in Adelaide.
"Obviously it's very sad, sad news," teammate Nathan Lyon said today.
"All our thoughts and prayers are going out to Mitch and his family.
"It's obviously never great losing someone like that. It's a tough time but he knows he's got all our love and all our support from not just me but everyone here at NSW cricket and the cricket community as well.
"We'll throw our arm around him and get around him."
Meanwhile, Smith has pulled out with a left elbow issue he picked up during the Vodafone Test Series.
"I have had some pain in my elbow that’s gradually worsened since the Test against India at the SCG and it requires some rest and rehab," Smith said.
"I am hoping I will be right to travel with the Blues to Adelaide for our games down there next week but we will have to see how it responds to treatment."
Smith's elbow complaint is different to the injury he suffered while playing in Bangladesh Premier League in January 2019 that required surgery.
"Knowing Steve Smith the way I do, him missing a game of cricket when we don't have that much on, I think he must be pretty sore," said Lyon.
"Talking to him just before, he was saying he was struggling to hold the bat… He tried to have a hit yesterday and he was just in discomfort (and) pain.
"I don't really know much more about it. For him to miss a game of cricket, it mustn't be ideal but fingers crossed he will be back after doing his rehab and recovery."
Fast bowler Liam Hatcher and batter Jason Sangha have been added to the Blues squad.
NSW Blues Sheffield Shield squad: Peter Nevill (c), Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Pat Cummins, Liam Hatcher, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Jason Sangha, Daniel Solway