Pucovski thrown into leadership firing line
THE international credentials of young batting star Will Pucovski continue to grow after national selectors picked the Victorian to captain a CA XI against the touring England Lions.
Pucovksi, who turns 22 on Sunday when the first match will be played, will lead the team in a series of one-day games, having also skippered a Victorian XI side in a recent T20 tournament.
National selection chairman Trevor Hohns said Pucovski, who opted out of Test selection before the series against Pakistan to continue to work on his mental health, would get "invaluable" experience.
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"We have selected a squad with a good mix of youth and experience for the limited overs leg of the England Lions tour," Hohns said.
"It is pleasing to see Will Pucovski back in a national squad. Will has progressed well over the course of the summer and recently captained the Victorian second XI in a Twenty20 tournament in Queensland.
"These three games are an invaluable opportunity for Will to gain more captaincy experience against quality opposition."
It's highly likely Pucovski will also be part of the Australia A squad which will play a four-day game against the Lions at the MCG. That squad will be confirmed at a later date.
Several players fresh from the Big Bash, including Renegades spinner Cameron Boyce, have also been includes in the squad for the three one-day games at Metricon Stadium starting on Sunday.
Spin king Shane Warne has long been an advocate for Boyce to be part of the Australian T20 team and Hohns said it was an audition for some for higher honours.
"The matches against the England Lions provide them all with an opportunity to impress national coaches and selectors as we look to plan ahead for the future," he said.
"Among the more experienced members of the squad is Cameron Boyce. Cameron thoroughly deserves his opportunity after several good years in domestic 50- and 20-over cricket, most recently with the Melbourne Renegades, for whom he took 14 wickets this BBL season."
CA XI SQUAD
Will Pucovski (c) (Victoria), Max Bryant (Queensland), Caleb Jewell (Tasmania), Jake Lehmann (South Australia), Alex Ross (South Australia), Brad Hope (Western Australia), Jaron Morgan (Western Australia), Will Sutherland (Victoria), Xavier Crone (Victoria), Blake Edwards (Queensland), Matthew Kuhnemann (Queensland), Cameron Boyce (Queensland), Mitch Perry (Victoria), Jack Prestwidge (Queensland)