Melbourne: Teenage fast bowler Pat Cummins has returned from a six-month injury layoff to be included in Australia's squad for a five-match limited-overs series against England and one game against Ireland.
A heel injury has kept 19-year-old Cummins out of international cricket since his Test debut against South Africa in November, when he took 6 for 79 to bowl Australia to a two-wicket win. Selector John Inverarity said on Thursday that Cricket Australia (CA) would "ease" Cummins back and he would be unlikely to play all eight games on the June and July tour.
An Australia A squad will also tour England in July and August for two three-day and two four-day matches as both teams prepare for next year's Ashes series. Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who also has not played for Australia since that tour of South Africa due to a foot injury, returns on both the main and A teams. Leg-spinning allrounder Steve Smith has also been included in the Australia team, while Test opening batsman Ed Cowan will captain the Australia A side.
Matthew Wade, who made a maiden Test century on Australia's recent winning Test tour of the West Indies, will be the wicketkeeper in the main Australia side, hoping to get accustomed to the conditions in England ahead of the Ashes series. Longstanding wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who dropped out of the Test team to the Caribbean due to his daughter's serious illness, was not included in either of the Australian teams.
"The Australia A squad has been selected with two factors very much in mind - the first is that good performances in the Australian summer have been recognized and rewarded, while keeping an ever-open eye for younger players coming through," Inverarity said. "The second is a focus on the Ashes tour of 2013 and familiarising a number of our less-experienced international players and back-up players with English conditions."
The main Australia side arrives in England on June 15 and plays a tour match against Leicestershire on June 21 before a June 23 one-day match against Ireland in Belfast. It will play a tour match against Essex in Chelmsford on June 26 before the five one-day matches against England on June 29 at Lord's and July 1 at The Oval in London, July 4 at Edgbaston, July 7 at Durham and July 10 at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Australia A plays three-day matches against Derbyshire from July 27-29 and Durham from August 1-3 and four-day matches against the England Lions at Old Trafford from August 7-10 and at Edgbaston from August 14-17.