The Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel (NSP) have today announced the Prime Minister’s XI squad for the Twenty20 fixture against Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval on 15 February.
Western Australia captain and ICC Test Team of the Year batsman Adam Voges will lead a talent-laden side, which will be coached by former Australia captain Michael Clarke. iCollege ACT Comet, ACT/NSW Country player and Milton Junior product, Matthew Gilkes has also been named in the side as 12th man.
|Adam Voges, WA – Captain||George Bailey, TAS|
|Alex Carey, SA||Jason Sangha, NSW|
|Arjun Nair, NSW||James Pattinson, VIC|
|Will Pucovski, VIC||Joe Burns, QLD|
|D’Arcy Short, WA||Henry Thornton, NSW|
|Daniel Worrall, SA||Matthew Gilkes, ACT – 12th man|
Voges is one of five players in the team with international experience. Tasmania captain George Bailey and Queensland’s Joe Burns, who have represented Australia in both Test and limited-overs cricket, will ensure the Prime Minister’s XI has plenty of experience at the top of the order. Fast bowlers James Pattinson (Victoria) and Daniel Worrall (South Australia) have also been named, and have both taken the new ball for Australia at international level within the past 12 months. Every state side is represented in the playing XI, which also contains some of Australia’s best emerging talent.
Commenting on the announcement, the Prime Minister said:
“I am delighted to congratulate each of the players selected to represent the PM’s XI for this year’s fixture against Sri Lanka. There is an enormous amount of new talent in this year’s squad, along with more established players, led by Adam Voges. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka. The PM’s XI cements and celebrates the deep bonds between our two countries.
“I look forward to hosting this year’s PM’s XI, welcoming Sri Lanka, and continuing this great tradition.”
National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said:
“It’s really pleasing to have a good blend of established players with international experience and some of the country’s brightest young talent representing the Prime Minister’s XI for this year’s match against Sri Lanka. 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.”
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. Victoria’s Will Pucovski – who is currently on Sheffield Shield debut for the Bushrangers and broke the runs record at the Under 19 National Championships in December 2016 – is one of three teenagers named in the playing XI, alongside 17-year-old batsman Jason Sangha and 18-year-old spinner Arjun Nair, both from New South Wales.
“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.”
Nair was one of the leading bowlers during the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup earlier this season, claiming 11 wickets in five matches for the Cricket Australia XI. Western Australia’s D’Arcy Short – a spin-bowling allrounder with Indigenous heritage – also features, following a breakout KFC BBL|06 with the Hobart Hurricanes.
The 12th man for the match will be ACT/NSW Country teenager Matthew Gilkes, a wicketkeeper-batsman hailing from Milton who along with Pucovski and Sangha, played at the under-19 championships.
The match is a double-header, with the ICC’s 16th ranked nation Papua New Guinea to take on an ACT XI at Manuka Oval on the same day at 2:30pm. Tickets to the Prime Minister’s XI double-header are available now.