Khawaja was named last week to captain the Bulls in the Shield match, the first since the resumption of the competition following the KFC Big Bash League and the only first class match before Australia’s tour of South Africa later this month.

The injury flared up while batting for the Sydney Thunder against the Melbourne Stars and forced him to miss the Thunder’s last regular season BBL game against the Melbourne Renegades last month.

Khawaja said today he had reluctantly agreed to miss the Shield match as the injury was still troubling him during training.

“I’m about 85 percent there but there’s a chance I could aggravate it again and with the tour coming up, everyone felt it was best to err on the side of caution,’’ he said.

“It’s disappointing because it’s an important match for us but I’ve plenty of confidence in the boys to get on with things.’’

He will be replaced by Sandgate-Redcliffe batsman Charlie Hemphrey, who had played in the Bulls last Shield game, a draw against South Australia, before the competition paused for the BBL.

Hemphrey produced a useful 98 yesterday on the opening day of the Toyota Futures League 2nd XI match against NSW at Blacktown in Sydney as he and fellow Bulls squad member Peter Forrest (100no) put on a stand of 196 after debutant opener Alecz Day had earlier made 86 for the Queensland Academy of Sport.

Hemphrey returned from Sydney today and will be replaced by Australian Under-19 batsman Nathan McSweeney for the duration of the Futures League game.

Wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson will captain the Bulls again in the absence of Khawaja.

Leg-spinner Mitch Swepson comes into the match off the back of a career-best bowling effort for Sandgate-Redcliffe in the weekend Queensland Premier Cricket Kookaburra One Day Final.

Swepson took 6-11 in the Final against Wests as the Gators added to the Premier Grade T20 title they won last month.

The Shield match will be scored live on as well as being live-streamed.

JLT Sheffield Shield, Round 6
Queensland v Tasmania, the Gabba
Thursday 8 Feb – Sunday 11 Feb\
Play starts 10am daily.

Jimmy Peirson (c)
Brendan Doggett
Luke Feldman
Charlie Hemphrey
Sam Heazlett
Marnus Labuschagne
Michael Neser
Lachlan Pfeffer
Matthew Renshaw
Mark Steketee
Mitch Swepson
Jack Wildermuth