Leading paceman Ryan Harris will miss the World Cup with an eye to Australia’s Ashes campaign in England later this year, selectors said on Sunday.
Harris, who ranks among Australia’s prominent fast bowlers, was left out of the World Cup squad named on Sunday.
It was no great surprise given the last of Harris’s 21 one-day internationals came almost three years ago, largely because of fitness issues instead of form.
Harris, known for his work ethic and high pain tolerance, successfully returned from major knee surgery during the recent Test series against India.
Chief selector Rod Marsh said he could have used the 35-year-old as a trump card in next month’s World Cup, but wanted him in peak condition for the next Ashes series.
“We would really like to see Ryan go to England, bowl his heart out in Test cricket and keep those Ashes,” Marsh said.
“He’s that important to the team in Test match cricket.
“I know there’s nothing bigger than the World Cup, but maybe international one-day cricket – he’s had his time there.”
Marsh suggested Harris was typically understanding of the decision.
“I went to speak to him last night to tell him he wasn’t in the team,” Marsh said. “I said, ‘Ryano’, and he said, ‘don’t worry mate, I know’.
“I think he would have loved to be in the side, but I think he also realises he would have struggled.”
Mitchell Johnson, who missed the Sydney Test with hamstring soreness, and Josh Hazlewood are expected to be rested from Friday’s tri-series opener against England in Sydney.