Katherine cricket icon D'Arcy Short has risen through the ranks from humble beginnings playing with the NT Under-19's, today announced as part of the 18-player squad headed for the Qantas Australian men's T20I tour of New Zealand next month.
Captained by Aaron Finch and coached by Andrew McDonald, the team is set to take on the Black Caps in a five-game series ahead of the ICC men's T20 World Cup, to be played in India later this year.
Despite concerns over fickle border restrictions, Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia's executive general manager, has confirmed the New Zealand tour is set firm irrespective of the outcome of discussions between South Africa's national team and Cricket Australia regarding the Australian men's Test tour of SA later this year.
"These are unprecedented times. Cricket Australia is committed to playing our role in international cricket while acknowledging the challenges of the pandemic and ensuring the health and safety of our players, staff and community," Mr Oliver said.
"The Australian men's T20I tour of New Zealand and Australian men's Test tour of South Africa are important to both host boards and we have been working constructively with their respective management teams on the planning for both tours.
"We do not envisage replicating concurrent Australian men's tours in the future, but we appreciate the need to do so now to assist our friends around the world during this challenging period for international sport and given the additional time requirements of mandatory quarantine periods."
National selector Trevor Hohns said the five-game series against the Black Caps would deliver "excellent opportunities" for several break-out performers from this year's KFC Big Bash League to showcase their talents on the international stage.
"In a World Cup year, it's exciting to select a squad that combines some of the biggest names in international T20 cricket with the best emerging players in the country," Hohns said.
"We like the balance of this squad for what should be a thrilling series against the Black Caps."
Since making the highest individual score in a Big Bash League match in 2018, and named Player of the Tournament things have been on the up for Short.
In June 2018, he along with Aaron Finch made history recording the highest ever opening partnership of 223 runs in a T20I match against Zimbabwe, and just last year was was named in a 26-man preliminary squad of players to begin training ahead of a possible tour to England.
"The batting line-up will be strengthened by the inclusion of Matt Wade, who joins fellow experienced internationals such as Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, D'Arcy Short and Ashton Turner," Hohns said, while also making special mention of all rounder selections Mitch Marsh, Daniel Sams and Ashton Agar.
"Adam Zampa has developed into one of the best spinners in international white ball cricket and we have been most impressed by Tanveer Sangha, who has been brilliant throughout the pathways and with the Sydney Thunder this season," Hohns said.
"We are similarly buoyant about our fast bowling stocks. Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith and Jason Behrendorff have all impressed during the BBL and Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye are proven performers on the international stage."
Australia currently sit second on the ICC T20I rankings, one spot behind England and four ahead of New Zealand.
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