Australia has been forced to make a last-minute change to their lineup for this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup due to an injury.
Experienced spinner Ashton Agar has been ruled out of the event due to a calf issue. Agar's most recent appearance for the national team in an ODI was earlier this month against South Africa in Bloemfontein.
However, the 29-year-old has been unable to recover from his persistent calf problem. As a result, Marnus Labuschagne, an experienced batter who was initially omitted from Australia's preliminary squad, will now replace him in the 15-player World Cup squad.
Australia finalised their squad for the six-week tournament on Thursday, waiting until the last moment to make this change. All participating countries in the World Cup were required to submit their final squads to the ICC by September 28, and any alterations after that date needed permission from the tournament organisers.
Despite a fractured hand that is expected to limit his availability for the early part of the tournament, Travis Head has been retained in the squad. Head sustained the injury during a match against South Africa earlier this month. Labuschagne's strong recent performance in 50-over cricket against South Africa and India played a key role in his inclusion.
With Agar absent from the squad, Australia will enter the World Cup with only one specialist spinner, likely relying on experienced all-rounder Glenn Maxwell to provide spin support alongside Adam Zampa.
Australia's World Cup squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.
Schedule of Australia’s warm-up matches
September 30 — vs Netherlands in Kerala
October 3 — vs Pakistan in Hyderabad
Schedule of Australia’s main round matches
October 8 — vs India in Chennai
October 12 — vs South Africa in Lucknow
October 16 — vs Sri Lanka in Lucknow
October 20 — vs Pakistan in Bengaluru
October 25 — vs Netherlands in Delhi
October 28 — vs New Zealand in Dharamsala
November 4 — vs England in Ahmedabad
November 7 — vs Afghanistan in Mumbai
November 11 — vs Bangladesh in Pune