Steve Smith to miss white-ball leg of tour to manage ‘discomfort in left elbow’

— AFP/ File
— AFP/ File

In a major blow to Australia ahead of their limited-overs series against Pakistan, Steve Smith will miss the white-ball tour as he will be managing discomfort in his left elbow.

Cricket Australia, in a statement, said that “Smith experienced some discomfort during the three-match Test series” and the board opted to rest him to “prioritise” the batsman’s “recovery and treatment” as Australia has “a full schedule of international cricket over the coming 18 months”.

“Steve has been experiencing some minor discomfort in his left elbow during the latter stages of the Test series in Pakistan and, given he had an injury with the same elbow last year, we felt it important to manage this proactively,” said Cricket Australia’s Head of Sports Science and Sports Medicine, Alex Kountouris.

Smith will be replaced by Mitchell Swepson — who recently made his Test debut — in the squad that will take on Pakistan in the three ODIs and a T20 International in Lahore.

Chair of Selectors George Bailey said they decided not to name a “replacement batter” as they felt they “have options within the existing squad”.

“We have decided to include Mitchell Swepson in the white ball squad because it will offer us additional options in the bowling department on surfaces that may well assist spinners,” said Bailey.

On the other hand, Smith expressed his disappointment in missing the limited-overs part of the series, adding that he felt the need for the rest “after chatting with the medical staff”.

“I do not regard this as a major issue but by staying on top of things now, we can ensure that it doesn’t become something more significant further down the line,” said Smith.

Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa.

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