LOCALS SNUBBED FOR GABBA T20
Brisbane Heat players have been almost totally snubbed by the Australian selectors for the hard-to-sell KFC T20 International at the Gabba next Wednesday.
The Gabba was already looking like being only half-full for what should be an attractive contest between Australian the T20 world champion Windies due to the selectors sending many of the nation's top players to India early to prepare for the Test series there.
The remarkable decision to snub all but Ben Cutting of the team that raised the KFC T20 Big Bash League championship will no doubt rile Queenslanders even more.
Power-hitting opener Luke Pomersbach, ultra-consistent all-rounder Dan Christian and wicket-taking 'death' bowler Alister McDermott should have been certainties to play on Wednesday.
The Heat's leading six-hitter Joe Burns also deserved serious consideration.
There are no guarantees that Cutting will make the final 12, given he has been traipsing around the country as 13th man for the ODI side and had bowlers vaulted in front of him from outside the squad.
Heat and Queensland Bulls wicketkeeper Chris Hartley, one of the great team men in the nation, could have been afforded some recognition given the keeper in the team Brad Haddin has played limited cricket for NSW since Christmas.
Hartley, who has scored 241 runs at 48.2 in the Ryobi Cup this season, was overlooked for the Australia A wicketkeeping berth yesterday for Tim Paine, who has 100 at 20. Coincidentally, Haddin has 88 runs at 22 in the one-day competition.
Leading BBL runscorers Shaun Marsh (1st), Aaron Finch (4th), Ben Rohrer (5th), and Adam Voges (6th) all got berths in Wednesday's team.
The odd men out were Pomersbach (2nd) and Brad Hodge (3rd), who is 38. Burns was 7th.
Christian was comfortably the leading allrounder in the competition, finishing top 12 in both runmaking and wickets.
Hobart's Ben Laughlin is in the squad as is the BBL's second-leading wicket-taker Cutting, while James Faulkner, who took one more wicket than McDermott, is also in.
Josh Hazlewood, who was included in the Australian Test squad during the summer with a first class average of almost 50 for the Shield, has a spot on Wednesday after playing only two BBL matches (for four wickets).
And strangely, the selectors made no mention of the world's best T20 player Shane Watson when mentioning the list of players who were unavailable on international commitments.
The squad to play at the Gabba on Wednesday is:
George Bailey (c) (Hurricanes)
Nathan Coulter-Nile (Scorchers)
Ben Cutting (Heat)
James Faulkner (Stars)
Aaron Finch (Renegades)
Brad Haddin (Sixers)
Josh Hazlewood (Sixers)
Ben Laughlin (Hurricanes)
Clint McKay (Stars)
Shaun Marsh (Scorchers)
Ben Rohrer (Renegades)
Adam Voges (Scorchers)
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