Starc out as Australia confirm Bangladesh tour

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Shukriya Pakistan

Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc was ruled out as Australia confirmed their upcoming Test tour of Bangladesh on Friday, two years after their last visit was cancelled over security fears.

Starc, who suffered a foot injury in March, was omitted from the 13-man squad to rest for September’s one-day series in India and the home Ashes series against England later in the year.

The team was also announced despite a long-running revenue-sharing dispute between Cricket Australia and the players’ union ahead of the expiry of their current deal on June 30.

The original tour in 2015 was cancelled after a spate of attacks by Islamist extremists in the Muslim-majority nation.

But Cricket Australia executive general manager Pat Howard said Australia has received security assurances from Bangladesh’s cricket board and government.

“We will continue to work with them to finalise plans but also monitor advice from government agencies and our own security advisors about the security risk,” Howard said in a statement.

The trip in August and September will be Australia’s first Test tour of Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting’s team visited in 2006.

“Our number one priority will always be the safety and security of our players and support staff when travelling to any country,” Howard said.

He added that CA was still seeking a resolution to the damaging pay dispute.

“Selectors have chosen this Bangladesh squad irrespective and independent of the status of the MOU (memorandum of understanding),” Howard said in a statement.

“We are working towards a resolution being in place by 30 June and look forward to continuing to support these players to perform at their very best on the global stage.”

Starc was ruled out after follow-up scans after the Champions Trophy indicated his previous stress fracture hadn’t properly healed.

The squad will be increased to 14 players to allow selectors to add a replacement for Starc.

Ashton Agar was chosen ahead of Steve O’Keefe as Nathan Lyon’s spinning partner, while all-rounder Hilton Cartwright was recalled.

“Ashton has continued to impress us with his form and we believe his bowling is at a level where he deserves to be playing on the highest stage,” head selector Trevor Hohns said.

Hohns added that Cartwright’s domestic form warranted his chance to play on the sub-continent.

Australia will arrive on August 18 and play a two-day tour match in Fatullah four days later. The two Tests against Bangladesh will be in Dhaka and Chittagong on August 27 and September 4.

Australia – Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Matthew Renshaw, Matthew Wade.

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