The 2023/24 summer of cricket may take place without some of the game’s biggest stars as issues relating to Cricket Australia’s workload management protocols loom large.
International tours of India, England, and South Africa have dominated the 2023 winter for Australia, while the inaugural Major League Cricket season in America, the Indian Premier League, and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup have also been taxing on the Aussie white-ball specialists.
Three-format stars David Warner, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and Mitchell Marsh have played large roles in the international tours, as have Test and ODI captain Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne, and Alex Carey.
Warner, Green, Hazlewood, Marsh, and Glenn Maxwell also featured in this year’s IPL, while Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa took part in the inaugural MLC competition.
Green is a prime example of why questions about the workload protocols need to be asked.
The 24-year-old allrounder completed the 2022/23 Australian summer before touring India, England, and South Africa for the first time, playing multiple formats.
Green also played a large role for the Mumbai Indians in his first season playing in the Indian Premier League, scoring 452 runs at an average of 50 while also taking six wickets.
At the moment, the Australian men’s ODI squad is in the process of resurrecting its Cricket World Cup campaign in India.
Following early losses to India and South Africa, the Aussies have beaten Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand to put themselves in an excellent position to reach the semifinals.
Meanwhile, back home, opening batter Usman Khawaja and uncapped fast bowler Lance Morris have been sidelined by Cricket Australia in preparation for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan that begins in December.
Khawaja has played just one four-day Sheffield Shield match and two one-dayers, with Morris only playing one Shield game for Western Australia.
The parameters defining how or why Australian players have exceeded their workloads are not publicly available.
However, it has been reported that Queensland Cricket, CA’s high-performance department, and the Australian selectors are all on the same page in the case of Khawaja, who turns 37 in December.
Following the conclusion of the ODI World Cup, India will host Australia for a five-match T20 International series where Warner, Smith, and Head have all been included in the 15-man squad.
Australia’s international commitments this summer begin with a three-match Test series against Pakistan before playing two Test matches, three ODIs, and three T20Is against the West Indies.