Western Australia’s Sheffield Shield title push boosted by return of Australia stars

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Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Agar and Josh Philippe are available for the home side

Captain Mitchell Marsh is one of three international players Western Australia have been able to recall for their Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania in Perth where victory will secure a spot in the final.

Marsh, Ashton Agar and Josh Philippe are included in the 14-man squad after completing two weeks quarantine after returning from New Zealand. Unlike players from other states, those heading back to Western Australia were required to isolate as the state has not been part of the one-way travel bubble.

For Marsh, who yesterday withdraw from the IPL citing bubble fatigue, this will be his first first-class match since October 2019 since when injury, white-ball international selection and Covid-19 hubs have prevented him from playing for his state.

Philippe, another who pulled out of the IPL, would also be making his first appearance of the season. Allrounder Agar played three matches in the first part of the Shield, when it was a hub in Adelaide, which included achieving the double of a century and a five-wicket haul against South Australia.

Western Australia last won the Sheffield Shield in 1998-99.

Meanwhile, Tasmania will be without Peter Siddle who has been caught up in the Covid-19 outbreak in Brisbane. He took a trip to the Gold Coast during time off last week and though he did not visit any of the designated hotspots the Western Australia border restrictions mean he can’t enter the state.

A Cricket Tasmania statement said: “[Peter] Siddle returned to Tasmania as soon as the news of the latest Covid outbreak in Brisbane surfaced, but unfortunately – despite the fact that he did not spend any time in the Greater Brisbane or Moreton Bay areas – he is now not permitted to enter Western Australia. Were the match being played in any other state, Siddle would be eligible for selection.”

It is the second time this season Tasmania’s selection has been hit by Covid-19 border issues after Riley Meredith was left out of the Marsh Cup game against Victoria after returning from New Zealand.

Tasmania, who are not in contention for the Shield final but have a chance of making the Marsh Cup decider, are also without fellow quicks Meredith (IPL) and Nathan Ellis (injury) so the impact is more significant on their one-day side.

Western Australia squad Mitchell Marsh (capt), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jake Carder, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Gannon, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Shaun Marsh, Lance Morris, Joel Paris, Josh Philippe, Sam Whiteman

Tasmania squad Matthew Wade (capt), Jackson Bird, Jake Doran, Jarrod Freeman, Caleb Jewell, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Tim Paine, Alex Pyecroft, Sam Rainbird, Jordan Silk, Charlie Wakim, Tim Ward, Beau Webster

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