Four Redbacks named in Australia A squad

South Australian quartet Wes Agar, Jordan Buckingham, Nathan McAndrew and Nathan McSweeney have all been named in the Australia A squad set to take on New Zealand later this month.

With all four recently representing English sides during the UK summer, they will be able to hit the ground running in four-day games commencing August 28 at Allan Border Field, with the series wrapping up on September 15, a fortnight before the beginning of the domestic season.

The announcement is a further boost to the credentials of McSweeney, with the all-rounder this week named in the group of eight male players heading to Chennai to take part in the MRF Academy.

For Agar, Buckingham and McSweeney, it is a return to the national setup following a tour of New Zealand in April, while for McAndrew it is the latest in a string of accolades achieved since crossing to South Australia two summers ago.  

In that April Trans-Tasman series, McSweeney was given the captaincy honours and delivered immediately, belting back-to-back half centuries, including a second innings 69 off 58 deliveries to drive Australia into a strong position.

Agar also shined that game, taking 4-56 as New Zealand were bowled out for 224 in their opening dig. Agar has also been named in the One Day squad for the tour.

In the second clash of the tour, Buckingham took full advantage of his opportunity with ball in hand, ripping through New Zealand’s top order on his way to figures of 6-58.

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With 28 wickets and a batting average of 48.16 to his name last Marsh Sheffield Shield season, McAndrew is one of the form all-rounders in the country and his earned his call-up to the national stage with consistent performances in all areas of the game.

Taking on our international neighbours in two four-day and three one-day clashes across Allan Border Field and Great Barrier Reef Arena, the Australia A squad will be captained by Adam Voges, while long-time South Australian Assistant Coach Luke Butterworth will also be lending his expertise during the opening game.

Today’s announcement comes on the back of international regulars Alex Carey and Travis Head selected in the extended ODI World Cup squad. Head and fellow South Australian Spencer Johnson has also been named to take on South Africa in their upcoming T20 International series.

Johnson’s first Australian squad selection continues a busy period for the left-arm quick, with strong stints in both American and Canadian T20 leagues in recent weeks.

NSP Chair of Selectors George Bailey said: 

“The squad contains some players who have put up some excellent state cricket performances, along with several emerging players we believe have exciting future in international cricket.

“With seven Tests this summer (including two in New Zealand in February and March 2024), this is an important time to continue to build depth through our red ball squads. It is equally exciting to expose some of our best developing talent to international opposition in one-day cricket as we enter a new World Cup cycle.

“We are committed to expanding the Australia A program and having seen seven players go on to represent Australia after excelling in Australia A matches over the past two years gives us great confidence.

“As the series is played early in the summer before the Australian domestic season starts, we expect to rotate through both the four-day and one-day squads to ensure they are best prepared for the season ahead.

“The squad is looking forward to playing at the newly developed Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay in a pink ball four-day match and one-day match, as well as utilising the excellent facilities at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.”

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